High-powered firearms seized in Masbate, Camarines Sur
By Connie Calipay
LEGAZPI CITY --- High-powered firearms and other war materiel belonging to the New People’s Army (NPA) were recovered after armed encounters between government troops and rebel groups in two Bicol provinces on Sunday.
In a report on Monday, Maj. Frank Roldan, 9th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said the encounters occurred in the provinces of Masbate and Camarines Sur.
The clash in Barangay Salvacion, Garchitonera town in Camarines Sur between troops of the 83rd Infantry Battalion (83IB) and communist terrorist group (CTG) members resulted in the seizure of weapons and ammunition.
“The unit conducted a security patrol, encountered five members of the terrorist group that lasted for five minutes. The exchange of fire between both sides resulted in the seizure of several terrorist weapons and equipment which included an M1 Garand, a rifle grenade, an M16 magazine, 72 pieces of ammunition and a backpack containing the personal belongings of the terrorists,” Roldan said.
The other armed encounter erupted on the same day in Barangay Dap-dap, Uson, Masbate.
The weapons recovered included an anti-personnel mine, an improvised hand grenade and 82 rounds of ammunition for M16, as well as subversive documents and personal belongings of the rebels, Roldan said.
He said the authorities received information from residents that led the government troops to track down a hiding place of the rebels in the area. The 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) troops then immediately conducted an operation and encountered almost 13 rebels, resulting in 10 minutes of exchange of fire.
“According to residents in the area, they were allegedly made ‘human shields’ by the CTGs to escape the scene of the encounter, causing the soldiers to hesitate to open fire,” he added.
No soldier was reported injured or killed in the incident while it was still being determined whether the terrorists suffered casualties.
After the successive encounters, Maj. Gen. Adonis Bajao, 9ID, commander of Joint Task Force Bicolandia, reminded the remaining rebels to surrender and start a new life with their families. (PNA)