Army recovers war cache in abandoned NPA hideout in Antique

ANTIQUE. Troops from the 82nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army have uncovered an abandoned harboring site of a communist terrorist group in Valderrama, Antique.
ANTIQUE. Troops from the 82nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army have uncovered an abandoned harboring site of a communist terrorist group in Valderrama, Antique. (Contributed photo)

TROOPS from the 82nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army discovered an abandoned harboring site belonging to a communist terrorist group (CTG) or communist New People's Army (NPA) terrorist (CNT) in Barangay Culyat, Valderrama, Antique on May 31, 2024.

The operation led to the seizure of various war materials, as soldiers discovered the NPA lair during a routine combat patrol.

A search of the location yielded an anti-personnel mine, an anti-tank mine, a machine gun bipod, a projector, a charger, a SIM card, medical books, medical paraphernalia, approximately 80 meters of rolled wire, and receipts.

Major General Marion Sison, commander of the Army's 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, lauded the 82nd Infantry Battalion for their accomplishment.

He also commended their PNP counterparts for their collaborative efforts that led to the recent surrender of remnants from the Southern Panay Front, Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay (SPF, KR-P), and the confiscation of these CTG war materials.

Four NPA surrenders

Four members of the NPA in Antique and Iloilo provinces voluntarily surrendered to government forces over the past two days, May 30 to 31, 2024.

On May 30, alias Martin, 30, a resident of Barangay Igtuble, Iloilo, and a member of the dismantled Southern Panay Front, Komiteng Rehiyon – Panay (SPF, KR-P), surrendered along with his rifle grenade to the San Remigio Municipal Police Station (MPS) in Antique.

His surrender was facilitated by the joint efforts of the 61st Infantry "Hunter" Battalion (61IB) in Camp Monteclaro, Barangay Igtuba, Miagao, Iloilo, and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Following his surrender, authorities apprehended alias Martin by a warrant of arrest for murder.

The next day, May 31, 2024, alias Era, 23, a female squad medic from Barangay Poblacion, Bingawan, Iloilo, also surrendered to the San Remigio MPS.

Her surrender, like alias Martin's, was facilitated by the 61IB and the Antique PNP.

In Iloilo, on the same day, alias Bodo, 35, and his partner, alias Ivy, 23, voluntarily submitted themselves to the 61IB in Iloilo.

Alias Bodo has pending cases at the Regional Trial Court for various criminal charges, including murder and frustrated murder. Both Bodo, from Leon, and Ivy, from Maasin, Iloilo were members of the SPF, KR-P.

The Army's 3ID leadership commended the troops and PNP for their collaborative efforts, leading to the surrender of SPF, KR-P, and confiscation of CNT war items.

“Collaboration, coordination, and cooperation between the Army and the PNP are crucial aspects of our anti-insurgency efforts, ensuring their seamless and effective execution. The series of surrenders and the successful seizure of the CTG’s war and medical materials in Antique and Iloilo provinces are tangible outcomes of the strong partnership forged between the Army and the PNP," Sison said.

Sison urged the remaining members of the CNT in Panay to follow their comrades who have chosen peace.

“Come and join your government and community in making Panay and the whole region a SIPS zone. Returning to the fold of the law is your best opportunity to reclaim your future and reunite with your loved ones who genuinely care for you. This decision isn't just about your personal welfare; it's also about improving the well-being of your family and community. They, too, desire a peaceful and progressive region,” Sison said. (Leo Solinap/SunStar Philippines)

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