MANILA -- Wishing to live in peace, a former New People's Army (NPA) team leader voluntarily turned over an improvised explosive device (IED) to the Compostela Valley 10th Infantry Division Sunday afternoon.
Capt. Rhyan Batchar, 10th Infantry Division public affairs office chief, said the ex-rebel, whom he did not identify for security reasons, surrendered an IED to troopers of their 67th Infantry Battalion at Barangay Lambog, Manay town, Davao Oriental.
It was immediately handed to an explosive ordnance disposal team for safekeeping, he added.
As this develops, 10th Infantry Division units are now hot on the trail of suspected NPA terrorists who burned down a packing plant owned by the DOLE Stanfilco in Sitio Sto. NiAo, Barangay Araibo, Pantukan, Compostela Valley around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
The terrorists, onboard five motorcycles barged-in and burned the facility.
Batchar placed the damage at PHP1 million.
Meanwhile, around 9 a.m. Monday, joint police and military team arrested a top NPA leader and his companion in a Task Force Davao checkpoint in Barangay Sirawan, Toril, Davao City.
They were identified as Ariel Arbitrario alias "Marlon" and companion Roderick Manuyac "alias" Coco. Manuyac has standing warrant of arrest on charges of murder with Criminal Case Number 20502 issued by Judge Virginia Tehano-Ang, Regional Trial Court 11, Branch 1.
It can be recalled that Ariel was arrested by authorities on charges of murder and attempted murder last Feb. 17, 2016.
Arbitrario was with his brother Crispolo Arbitrario alias "Calvin" when arrested by authorities during checkpoint operations for possession of firearms and explosives in Tagum City.
In another report, soldiers from the 73rd Infantry Battalion engaged in seven-minute gunbattle with an undetermined number of NPA terrorists in Sitio Kisoy, Barangay Little Baguio, Malita, Davao Occidental at around 10:20 a.m. Monday.
No casualties were reported in the said incident while troops are now in pursuit of the fleeing NPA bandits.
"We are guided by President Duterte's pronouncements in dealing with the NPAs, who continue to attack civilian targets. We will not allow the NPAs, which was never a people's army to continue sowing fear and terror on the people," said 10th Infantry Division commander Major Gen. Rafael Valencia. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency