PANACAN, DAVAO CITY—Twenty high powered firearms (HPFA) stashed in arms caches were surrendered by Guerilla Front North, a New People’s Army (NPA) unit being monitored operating in the boundaries of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao Oriental, to the units of Joint Task Force Agila of the Eastern Mindanao Command on Sunday, May 3, 2020.
This was the report provided to the media including Sandigan News and Banat Pilipinas News by the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The report says that at 10:00 a.m., elements of the 66th Infantry Battalion (IB) under Ltc Roman Mabborang, acting on information of a former rebel who surrendered earlier to the Provincial Task Force ELCAC Davao De Oro, simultaneously discovered two arms caches that yielded a total of 9 HPFA.
The first arms cache that was located at Sitio Matigdaw, Barangay Marayag, Lupon, Davao De Oro consisted of 1 M60 machine gun, 3 M16 rifles, and 1 M14 rifle. The second arms cache was discovered at Sitio Casunugan, Barangay Mahan-ub, Baganga, Davao Oriental stashed with 3 M16 rifles and 1 US M2 Carbine rifle.
In the afternoon, a former rebel who surrendered to Ltc. Louie Dema-ala of 67th Infantry Battalion on May 2, 2020, led the troops under 701st Infantry Brigade to another arms cache of the same NPA group at Sto. Spur 3, Barangay Aliwagwag, Cateel, Davao Oriental. The troops were able to recover 5 M16 rifles, 2 AK47 rifles, 1 M4 rifle, 1 M203 grenade launcher, 1 M14 rifle, and 1 M653 rifle.
In a report made by BGen. Jose Eriel Niemba, Commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade to MGen. Reuben Basiao, Commander of Joint Task Force Agila, the NPA North Front is at the brink of collapse following the surrender of their regular members during the past months as a result of the relentless and collaborative peace and development efforts of the government troops and the local government units (LGUs).
In an earlier report on May 2, 2020, the 67th IB also seized 4 AK47 rifles,1 M14 rifle, 1 Garrand rifle, and 1 M79 grenade launcher at Sitio Alimot, Barangay Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur after a revelation of another surrenderee.
In can further be recalled that the first arm cache of the said NPA group was discovered by troops belonging to the 66th IB in an isolated area of Sitio Danawan, Barangay Manurigao, New Bataan, Davao De Oro on February 25, 2020, yielding 4 M16 rifles, 1 M14 rifle, 2 AK47 rifle, 1 Garrand rifle, 1 Carbine rifle, and 2 M203 grenade launchers after an NPA couple surrendered to the Task Force ELCAC of Davao De Oro.
On April 16 and 17, 6 HPFA of the group were also captured during a series of encounters at Barangay Campawan, Baganga, Davao Oriental. Also on April 18, 2020, a member of the group surrendered to 28th IB in Dawan, Mati City bringing along with him 3 Garrand rifles, 3 landmines and 2 caliber 45 pistols. This brought the total captured firearms of the North Front to 48 HPFA to include the firearms initially surrendered.
Meanwhile, MGen. Jose C. Faustino Jr., Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command lauded the accomplishments of the units and attributed it to the united efforts of the Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC).
“The surrender of NPA regulars with their firearms was brought about by the convergence of all stakeholders in addressing the different dimensions of insurgency. We commend the untiring effort at the different levels of TF-ELCAC and the invaluable support of the LGUs,” MGen. Faustino said.