Army troops recover arms cache in Albay town
Updated: May 7, 2021
By Connie Calipay / Philippine News Agency
LEGAZPI CITY – Soldiers in Bicol recovered an arms cache belonging to the communist terrorist group (CTG) in the hinterlands of Barangay San Antonio, Oas, Albay on Wednesday.
Capt. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division (9ID) spokesperson, in a statement on Thursday said included in the cache are a 5.56 caliber Bushmaster rifle, 5.56 caliber Colt AR-15 rifle, eight magazines, 187 rounds of ammunition, bandolier, and terrorist propaganda materials.
“Prior to this, elements of the 9th Infantry Division's 49th Infantry Battalion (49IB) were conducting security operations after some concerned citizens reported about the suspicious things left by the CTG members in Sitio Tinahuban when they chanced upon the said war materials,” he said.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Tapnio, commanding officer of 49IB, said with the discovery and capture of the said firearms and propaganda materials, violence and recruitment schemes of the CTG will be prevented.
"Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga residenteng tumulong at nakipag-ugnayan sa atin. Kung hindi natin ito nakuha, gagamitin na naman ito ng mga komunistang terorista laban sa tropa ng gobyerno at sa mga inosenteng sibilyan (We are thankful for the residents who helped and coordinated with us. If we we’re not able to get it, the communist group will use it again on our government troops and innocent civilian),” Tapnio said.
Col. Jaime Abawag Jr., commander of the 902nd Infantry Brigade, directed the troops to continue scouring the area as the presence of the arms cache is an indication that the New People's Army (NPA) is up to something.
"The CTG doesn't go to an area without an ill motive. Keeping their firearms in the said place means that they are just around the corner, lying in wait to launch their lawless acts. Pero hindi natin hahayaan mangyari ‘yan. Sa patuloy na pakikipagtulungan ng mga Bicolano, hindi mangyayari ‘yan (But we will not allow it to happen, with the continuous cooperation of BIcolanos, it will not happen),” Abawag said.
The NPA, along with the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)