The Marine Battalion Landing Team 4 (MBLT4) of the 3rd Marine Brigade recovered on Sunday, August 27, a cache of firearms and ammunition believed to be stash of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the mountains of Sitio Reynakan, Barangay Salogon, Brooke’s Point, Palawan.
Lt. Col. Danilo Facundo, commanding officer of MBLT4, said information provided by local residents led them to the discovery of the arms cache.
The government troops recovered from the area 14 pieces of M16 A14 rifles, three magazines, 10 rounds of 5.56 mm cartridge bullets, four bandoilers, one Load Bearing Equipment (LBE), one camouflage backpack, two “Sandugo” bags, three six-pocket short pants, a camouflage jacket, two green long-sleeved shirts imprinted with the Bagong-Hukbong Bayan/Bienvenido Vallever Command text, a black long-sleeve shirt, two hammocks, five NPA caps, one blanket, one automatic voltage regulator, one box of syringes, one book, and 10 pieces of NPA patches.
Facundo, in a press conference, said the cache were located by government troops in a remote area of Sitio Reynakan, hidden underneath a tree, covered with dirt, dried leaves and grass. He said it took them two days of walking through the forest to reach the hidden armaments.
“Nalaman namin sa community. Nakikita natin na ang ating komunidad ay mismong nagbibigay na ng impormasyon para ma-locate itong mga armas,” said Col. Danilo Facundo of the Western Command.
Lt. Col Sonny Gonzales, Civil Military Operations Officer of WESCOM, attributed their success in retrieving the suspected NPA military supplies to the cooperation of local residents.
“From the military point of view, mako-consider natin na this is very successful. Kasi dito natin nakikita na hindi lang effort ng AFP ang meron tayo ngayon, kundi lahat ng stakeholders and section. Nagising ang lahat na magkaisa sa usaping peace and security,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales added that since the surrender of around 20 NPA members to government troops since the start of the year, they believe that the rebels are losing support from civilian residents.
“Mula start nitong taon, aabot na sa 20 katao ang sumuko. Marami pa tayong nilalakad, ini-expect naman natin na maganda ang kakalabasan nun,” said Gonzales.