Army overruns NPA lair in Calbayog City; recovers firearms

Domestic Affairs

TACLOBAN CITY: The Philippine Army has recovered high-powered firearms and explosives after a clash with suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in an upland village in Calbayog City, Samar on Wednesday.

Acting spokesperson of the Philippine Army's 43rd Infantry Battalion (IB), Lt. Roxane Valenciano, said troopers attacked a band of 20 rebels at the boundary of Cangomaod and Cagmanipis villages, Tinambacan District in Calbayog City, Samar at past 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

"The rebels were caught unprepared, and they scampered in different directions during the encounter. We are sure some of them were injured since there are many blood stains in the clash site," she said in a phone interview Thursday.

Recovered from the NPA lair were an M16A rifle, an M653 rifle, two improvised hand grenades, two anti-personnel mines, detonator switches, five backpacks, a bandolier with three magazines of M14 rifle, and personal belongings.

"Our troops found the location of the NPA hideout through the information of alias Webb, a finance officer and member of the executive committee of the NPA Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) who surrendered to 43rd IB on January 26," Valenciano added.

The rebels belong to the merged group of NPA front committee 2, sub-regional guerrilla unit, sub-regional committee emporium, and EVPRC, headed by Alex Capales alias Mantiw.

The NPA combatants, according to alias Webb, have been hiding near coconut plantations since they extort food from coconut farmers.

Commander of the Army's 43rd IB, Lt. Col. Manuel Degay Jr., has called on the remaining NPA members to surrender with the intensified focused military operations in Samar Island.

The rebels belong to the four remaining NPA guerrilla fronts in Eastern Visayas with a concentration in the mountains within the boundaries of Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Samar provinces, according to the military.

Source: Philippines News Agency