Firearm, explosives seized in Sorsogon armed clash

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CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur-An M14 rifle and two anti-personnel mines were captured in the recent armed encounter that ensued between government troops and members of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) around 3:18 in the afternoon in Bulan, Sorsogon, Saturday, September 19.

The encounter is a result of strong cooperation of the residents of Barangay R. Gerona in the said town, as well as civilian informants who helped the joint elements of 31st Infantry Battalion, 903rd Infantry Brigade and PNP to track down the communist NPA terrorists (CNTs) who were spotted in the area.

After a brief gunfight, the undetermined numbers of CNTs hurriedly escaped from the encounter site leaving the firearm and explosives as well as their personal belongings behind.

Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) under MGEN HENRY A ROBINSON JR PA once again expressed its appreciation for the growing support of the Bicolanos in the unrelenting efforts of the government to quell the unlawful activities of the CTG especially during this time of pandemic.

Furthermore, MGen. Robinson attributed this successful engagement yet again to the continuous effective interoperability of government forces in Sorsogon for the past months which resulted in the series of armed encounters, neutralization of CNTs and recovery of high powered firearms.

“Our encouragement to the few remaining members of CTG is to heed the call of the government and return to the fold of the law. Our extensive military operations will never cease until we finally put an end to this local armed conflict. Pero sa kabila nito, tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang panawagan natin sa kanila na sumuko na dahil hindi natin gustong patuloy na makakita ng kapwa nating Pilipino na namamatay lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya. Just like our soldiers, these men have their own families waiting for them to go home safe and alive,” MGen. Robinson added.

It can be recalled that last July 30, one CTG member was killed and an M60 machine gun, M16 riffle and anti-personnel mines were captured in a fierce firefight between government troops and CNTs in Sorsogon respectively.

Aside from the previous armed encounters in the said province, this incident and the recovery of arms cache demonstrates the waning capability of the CTG.