two .38-caliber pistols, two anti-personnel mines, and a plastic containing at least 15 kilograms of shrapnel in Barangay Maalo, Juban town in Sorsogon province.
In a statement on Tuesday, Maj. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division (9ID) spokesperson, said government troops of the Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) were conducting security operations in the area when they spotted a suspicious-looking man who fled when they are about to approach him.
The joint team found the war materiel as they scoured the area.
“Suffering from a continuous exodus of its members, the communist terrorist group (CTG) no longer has the manpower to carry its remaining firearms and war materials,” Belleza said.
Lt. Col. Nelson Mico, commander of the 22nd Infantry Battalion, warned rebels of the intensified operations of the Army and PNP which leave no room for the atrocities that they may be planning.
Brig. Gen. Aldwine Almase, commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, said “this only means that the terrorist group continues to lose its manpower while at the same time losing its firepower along with the sympathy of the masses.
“Sa mga natitira pang miyembro ng CTG, sana mabuksan na ang inyong mga isipan na kahit gaano pa kayo katagal na manatili sa kabundukan, walang mararating ang inyong ipinaglalaban. Bumaba na lamang kayo at makipagtulungan sa amin dahil tiyak, may patutunguhang mabuti ang inyong buhay. Nagsasayang lamang kayo ng panahon sa walang saysay na kilusan (To the remaining rebels, I hope you will open your minds that no matter how long you stay in the mountains, your ideology will go nowhere. Just go down and cooperate with us because you can be sure that you will have a good future. You’re just wasting your time with a nonsense group),” Almase said.
Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, regional director of Police Regional Office-Bicol (PRO5), assured the remaining rebels that their police stations are open should they decide to return to the fold of the law.
“Gayahin po ninyo ‘yong napakaraming dati ninyong kasama na nagbalik-loob na sa pamahalaan dahil sa loob ng kilusan, kung hindi kayo maaresto ng ating mga tropa baka po mapatay kayo sa mga engkwentro.‘Yan lamang po ang dalawang kapalarang naghihintay sa inyo (Emulate the former rebels who returned to the fold of the law because when you are with the organization, you would be arrested if not die in an encounter. Those are the only two possibilites that await you),” Estomo said.
Maj. Gen. Alex Luna, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia, attributed the recent accomplishment to the intensified military operations in Bicol.
“The extensive operations of the security sector coupled with the effective implementation of the Whole-of-Nation Approach led by our partner agencies and the growing support of the Bicolanos have brought us to these successes,” he said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.
Source: Philippines News Agency