Government troops recovered war materials belonging to communist rebels after a firefight Thursday in the hinterlands of Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, an official said.
Capt. Jonald Romorosa, civil-military operations of the Army's 36th Infantry Battalion, said the rebel water materials consisting of high-powered firearms, ammunition, and landmine components were recovered after the 15-minute clash in Barangay Buenavista around 12:30 p.m.
In a statement, Romorosa said the firefight broke out after government troops on combat operations encountered around 15 armed New People's Army (NPA) rebels belonging to the Guerrilla Front 30 (GF30) of the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) led by a certain Joel Mahinay.
Romorosa said the operation was launched in response to the reports of the presence of armed men in the area.
After the encounter, the NPA rebels withdrew from their position and retreated toward the northeastern portion of Barangay Buenavista, he said, adding the guerillas suffered an undetermined number of casualties based on the bloodstained found in the area.
The government suffered no casualty, he said, adding the troops recovered an M16 rifle, a Garand rifle, ammunition, landmine components, personal belongings, and documents with high intelligence value following the clash.
In the same statement, Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel, 36IB commander, took note of the growing support for the Army within the community.
Diagmel attributed the support to the "effective implementation of the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict" in the countryside."
It is my commitment to respond to the call of the peace-loving people of Surigao del Sur to preserve the peace and security in the province, Diagmel said.
He also called on the remaining NPA rebels to lay down their arms and avail of the support services being offered by the government.
Source: Philippines News Agency