Gov’t forces seize NPA bomb depot, arrest 3 in south Negros

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SEIZED. Troops of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police overrun a bomb manufacturing and storage facility of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army in Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City in Negros Occidental on Sunday (August 18, 2019). They seized anti-personnel mines and components, firearms and ammunition, among others, and later arrested three suspected rebels. (Screengrab from Police Regional Office-7 video)

BACOLOD CITY – Troops of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police overran a lair of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) used for manufacturing and storage of explosives in Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City in Negros Occidental on Sunday morning.

A police report showed government troops seized what is considered a repository and manufacturing site of explosive devices of the communist rebels in Sitio Cabilocan in Camindangan, following a clash at about 6:30 a.m.

The firefight between the troops and five rebel guards lasted 10 minutes, after which the NPAs fled. 

During the pursuit operation, three persons were arrested — Roberto Tingson, 34, and Jory Mate, 38, both suspected members of the NPA’s Yunit Militia in the village, as well as a certain “Amado”, who was identified as an explosives expert.

The three were endorsed to the Sipalay City Police Station.

Two other village residents were invited for questioning.

The police report said an Explosive and Ordnance Disposal team from the Police Regional Office 7 (Central Visayas) recovered anti-personnel mines and almost 2 kg. of powder, firearms, ammunition, detonation cords, blasting caps, switches, two-way radios, and subversive documents, among others, which were brought to the Sipalay Police for documentation.

The troops who encountered the rebel guards were from the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion, Regional Mobile Force Battalion-7 Striking Force, 1st Platoon of the 65th Special Action Company, 2nd Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company, and 32nd Military Intelligence Company.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.