By: Saul Pa-a
CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – Soldiers conducting their intelligence operation uncovered on Sunday two high-powered firearms in Barangay Piña, Taysan, Batangas, believed buried by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who have given up their lost cause.
Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., newly-assumed commander of the 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) which has operational jurisdiction over Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon in Region 4-B (Mimaro), said the intelligence operation was an off-shoot of the 1st Infantry Battalion’s (1IB) clash with the NPAs in San Juan, Batangas last April 28.
He said the skirmish resulted in the death of a communist terrorist and the recovery of an M16 rifle, and the fleeing rebels may have buried them, and abandoned their cause.
“The NPAs’ act of leaving their rifles behind by burying them is a concrete manifestation of their waning will to fight brought about by the series of decisive losses which they suffered from government troops defending Calabarzon and Mimaro,” Burgos said.
According to Col. Alex Rillera, commander of 202nd Brigade which operates in the Calabarzon Region, troops of the 1IB have received and validated information from concerned citizens on an arms cache in the Sitio (sub-village) Gabihan in Barangay Piña.
“This information tipped by concerned citizens only shows the NPAs no longer enjoy mass base support because the people are already tired of the extortion and terroristic acts of the enemies of the state,” Rillera said.
“What the people long for is lasting peace and progress, and that armed struggle as espoused by the desperate NPA will never be embraced by the God-fearing Filipino people,” he added.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Manio, commanding officer of the 1IB, disclosed his troops were able to dig a M16 Bushmaster and another M16 rifle believed to be owned by members of the NPA Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee’s Platoon Silangan.
“Your soldiers will not waver and will be unrelenting in ensuring that the NPAs will never again be able to terrorize the people of Batangas,” Manio assured the locals.
Military officials recalled that last April 28, the government troops decimated remnants of the NPA’s GF Honda unit which used to operate in Batangas and Cavite.
GF Honda unit was finally dismantled by soldiers of the 202nd Brigade under 2ID, following their successive military offensives in 2018.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)