Army recovers cache of NPA ammunition in Butuan village

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BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Troopers from the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion seized thousands of ammunition concealed in a hideout abandoned by the members of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) in the forested area of Sitio Palo, Barangay Nong-nong, Butuan City on the morning of September 23, 2020.

Following a report given by concerned civilians on the activities of the CNTs and the location of a hideout in the area, the 23rd IB troopers immediately conducted a combat operation that led to the discovery and seizure of the cache of ammunition. The abandoned CNT hideout is capable of accommodating around ten (10) persons.

Recovered from the site are one thousand two hundred (1,200) rounds ammunition for Carbine rifle, three hundred ninety (390) rounds for Garand rifle, and one (1) long magazine for M16 rifle.

Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the Acting Commander of 23rd IB expressed gratitude to the concerned citizens who bravely provided positive and timely information to the government forces regarding the whereabouts of the enemies.

“We are glad that the residents in barangays are now willingly and bravely supporting us in ending the insurgency in conflict-affected areas of Butuan City and Agusan del Norte,” Paulo said.

He added that through the cooperation and active participation of civilians, the Army is able to uncover another CNT hideout concealed with supplies and cache of ammunition for high-powered firearms.

“In the past month, we also recovered, landmine depots, firearms and supply cache in different CNT hideouts within our area of operations through the information provided by the concerned residents,” Paulo said.

He also lambasted the remaining members of the CNT in the area of their continuing terroristic activities such as extortion of money and food from poor residents in communities who have been suffering for months now due to the impacts of the pandemic.

“We once again call on the remaining CNT members and leaders to surrender now. Let us end the fifty-one (51) years of hopeless armed struggle and embrace the true meaning of peace,” Paulo said.

He added that the government is always ready to help those who will return to the fold of the law through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“But if you insist to stay with your weakening movement, the army will not hesitate to use its arms against you,” Paulo said.