Army dismantles 2 NPA ‘hideouts’ in Bukidnon

Army Scout Rangers dismantled early this week two hideouts that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) had supposedly intended as venues for its 50th anniversary celebration.

Col. Edgardo de Leon, commander of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade, said the Scout Rangers seized the hideouts during two encounters on December 12 and 13 in an uninhabited, upland area bordering Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur.

De Leon said the “massive hideouts” can accommodate around 100 to 120 persons and had been seemingly built for a gathering or ceremonial purpose.

“Its makeshift facilities strongly indicate that it is being prepared as a venue for a huge gathering of persons. In particular, it has one multi-purpose hall, two kitchens and one water reservoir,” the official said.

Scout Rangers recovered a cellular phone, a generator set, electrical wires, and several personal belongings on one of the hideouts.

The other hideout, meanwhile, yielded a rifle grenade, several types of ammunitions belonging to high-power firearms, bomb-making materials, medical kits, and documents.

De Leon said the hideouts were discovered with the help of former NPA members who have already surrendered to authorities.

“These former rebels further revealed that food and other non-food items were brought to these areas, probably in preparation for the CPP anniversary,” the Army official said, referring to the December 26 founding anniversary of the CPP.

Founded in 1968 by Jose Maria Sison, CPP has two main units: the NPA as its armed wing, and the National Democratic Front as its political arm.

The United States and the European Union list CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. (PNA)