MANILA Aside from being hit by massive surrenders, the New People's Army (NPA) has also lost 209 high- and low-powered firearms in the first two months of 2018, a military spokesperson said Wednesday.
This is apart from the 155 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) seized during the same months, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, said in a statement.
In the areas covered by the Eastern Mindanao Command alone, a total of 165 firearms and 131 IEDs were confiscated from the rebels and their supporters over the same period.
Garcia said the 16th Infantry Battalion (IB) discovered an arms cache in Calinan district, Davao City on Feb. 27, as revealed by a former rebel, while troops also seized six firearms and other war materiel.
The 66th IB also discovered three arms cache that yielded six high-powered firearms, five IEDs, and several war materiel in Compostela Valley on Feb. 21, as disclosed by rebels who surrendered to the IB. Surrenderers, mostly from the eastern part of Mindanao, bring along their firearms and submit them to authorities.
Aside from the immediate assistance and enrollment of these former rebels to the Comprehensive Local Integration Program, they also receive remuneration for firearms they surrender.
"The AFP will continue to conduct operations to degrade the armed capability of the terrorists and further enhance Community Support Program to empower local government units in providing basic services to the people in their communities to encourage more NPAs to surrender," Garcia said.
Source: Philippine News Agency