Government troops recovered bomb-making materials and munitions belonging to the New People’s Army (NPA) in the Surigao del Sur town of Tago on Wednesday (January 2).
Capt. Francisco Garello Jr., civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion, said the supply cache was discovered at a residence in Sitio Himat-e, Barangay Cayale, Tago, following a civilian tip-off.
Garello said the supplies were entrusted to a “mass supporter” in the area who got “tired of being used and could not bear anymore the burden”, as well as the risk of being discovered by soldiers patrolling the village.
The supplies consist of bomb-making materials such as blasting caps, anti-personnel mines, as well as communications equipment, ammunition, and an improvised shotgun.
Over a week ago, on Dec. 23, 36IB personnel also discovered a supply cache in the neighboring town of San Miguel.
Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad, 36IB commander, said the series of civilian tip-offs indicated that the rebels “are losing critical mass support.”
“The capture of said supplies is another significant blow to their compartmentalized and restricted movement. We were able to successfully do this in just weeks due to the increasing shift of community support in favor of the government,” Trinidad said.
The Army official called on “peace-loving Surigaonons to unite with us” and encourage NPA members to “surrender and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.”