Massive recovery of explosives, illegal drug paraphernalia, and high-powered firearms

CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao – Troops of 90th Infantry Battalion and 61st Division Reconnaissance Company seized assorted firearms and other war materiel this morning, May 16, 2019 in a continuing military operations in Brgy Bentan, Talitay, Maguindanao

The military operations was immediately launched after a reported fire fight between the private armed groups of Vice-Mayoralty candidates Montasir Sabal and Suraida Ameril the other day. This military response is in an effort to contain the escalation of conflict and protect the civilian community in the area.

Hundreds of residents in the area were forced to flee to safer areas giving way to the pacification effort of JTF Central troopers. They were immediately taken cared of by JTF Central forces in close coordination with the LGU in the area and other concerned stakeholders.

The operating troops intervened with the warring groups and conducted clearing operation to bring back normalcy in Barangay Bentan.

During the course of clearing the area, the troops were able to recover one M16 rifle, 4 M653 rifles, 2 M203 rifles, 2 M14 rifles, 1 M79 rifle, 1 Garrand rifle, 2 Thomson, 1 Carbine, 1 homemade shotgun, 1 KG9 Luger, one 60mm mortar, 1 Baofing Radio, 15 pcs large plastic drums suspected to be anti-personnel mine, 12 PVC anti-personnel mine and 4 hand grenades.

“We recovered these war materiel which were hastily left along the route of withdrawal of the private armed groups. Our clearing operations continue to this time ,” said Lt. Col. Crizaldo A. Fernandez, Commanding Officer of 90th IB.

Meanwhile, the 3rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal of the Army are currently checking the plastic drums suspected to contain anti-personnel mine components and illegal substance for bomb making.

603rd Brigade Commander Col. Wilbur C. Mamawag said that the firefight between PAGs in Barangay Kilalan was contained because the military immediately intervened to prevent its escalation particularly between the supporters of rival political families.

Joint Task Force Central Commander, Maj. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana commended the troops of 90th IB and 61DRC for their recent accomplishments.

As of this report, the displaced residents are safely back to their respective homes with the assistance of Army troopers.