Soldiers recover machine gun, high powered firearms in North Cotobato

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MAGPET, COTABATO—Following the surrender of another NPA member, the soldiers from 72nd Infantry Battalion were able to recover a light machinegun, M16 rifles, ammunition and subversive documents in the area of Sitio Family, Barangay Basak here, Sunday, October 20.

It can be recalled that a day before the recovery of the said firearms, a certain @Tonton, 20, surrendered to the government troops stationed at Perez Patrol Base through the help of barangay officials of Perez, Kidapawan City.

The former rebel (FR) was formerly designated as Squad Leader of Guerilla Front 53 operating in the second district of Cotabato. In his surrender, he also turned over an M16 rifle to the authorities.

As a result of the custodial debriefing to the said personality and corroboration on the information of @Harold, another FR who recently surrendered, the 72nd IB conducted follow-up operation in the said area that led to the recovery one M60 machine gun, one M16 rifle, 108 rounds ammunition, various medical items, and subversive documents. In his statement, he disclosed that he was recruited by @Joel in 2015 at the age of 16. He was then designated as courier and later on elevated as a regular member of the said group. He also cited that among the factors that made him return to the folds of the law are the hardships he experienced while inside group and the loss of interest due to the internal rift among the members of his unit.

Meanwhile, Col. Gabriel C Viray III, Commander 901Bde, said that more members of the CTG are heeding the call to surrender because they were able to recognize the true intent of our government to resolve the problem about insurgency. He also lauded the participation of the barangay officials in the successful surrender of the said personality citing that every member of the society should actively partake in this effort. “We are hoping that more CTG members will realize the futility of armed struggle and they are fighting for a lost call. With the implementation of EO 70 and the creation Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict or TF-ELCAC down to the municipal level, the government is already in full swing to deliver the basic services and resolve the issues being exploited by the CTG to lure masses for their communist agenda. What we prioritize in this program are those barangays considered to be geographically isolated and disadvantage areas which are often included in conflict affected areas also”, he said. With recent surrender of significant personalities, the 901st Infantry Brigade through its OPCON units was able to facilitate the surrender of 14 firearms.