NPA arms cache seized

A JOINT police-military operation led to the arrest of two members of New People’s Army (NPA) and seizure of 20 M16 Armalite rifles in Kidapawan City yesterday morning.

Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the combined troops of 39th Infantry Battalion, Kidapawan City Police, and Cotabato Province Public Safety and Security Company (CPPSSC) were verifying reports from local residents that armed men were seen roaming in Purok 3 of Barangay Katipunan.

Col. Roberto Ancan, 1002 Infantry Brigade commander, revealed that a group of NPA recruits was tasked to conduct tactical offensives at unspecified areas.

“With this information at hand, the military together with the police immediately planned an operation purposely to foil an impending threat,” Ancan said.

The joint team proceeded to Katipunan and chanced upon two persons carrying suspicious objects that were later found to contain two M16 rifles.

The arrested persons were identified as Wowia Boton and George Cuyo, who are both NPA members under Ka Choi of Guerilla Front 53.

The arrested rebels later revealed the location of their arms cache where 18 other M16 Armalite rifles were recovered.

Both Boton and Cuyo were turned over to the Kidapawan police for filing of appropriate charges.

Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, 10th ID commander, lauded the police and military forces involved in the successful security operation against the NPA and gave assurance of the military’s respect and observance of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

“We have seen here the strong cooperation of the concerned people who were fed up with the presence of the NPA rebels who still continue to threaten, extort and recruit hapless civilians,” he said.

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