From the Philippine Star (Jan 30): NPA weapons seized in 'insurgency-free' Kalinga
Soldiers have recovered an arms cache of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Kalinga, one of the provinces declared “insurgency-free” by the government.
Maj. Emmanuel Garcia, chief of the Armed Forces 1st Civil Relations Group, said the arms cache was discovered in Barangay Magnao in Tabuk town Tuesday evening.
Recovered from the site were one M16 rifle, one garand rifle, one carbine rifle and one springfield rifle.
“The successful recovery of the arms cache stemmed from persistent information coming from several local residents,” Garcia said.
“Authorities believe this is a manifestation of the dwindling number of NPA remnants who were forced to hide their firearms to avoid arrest,” he added.
Garcia said the “insurgency-free” declaration does not necessarily mean zero presence of rebels. He said such declaration means that the rebellion in an area has weakened and could no longer overthrow the local leadership.
Meanwhile, members of the Army’s 29th battalion encountered around 20 NPA members in Tubay, Agusan del Norte Thursday morning.
Lt. Col. Adonis Ariel Orio, commander of the battalion, said the clash ensued around 8:45 a.m. at Sitio Camarin, Barangay Tagmamarkay.
He said the rebels withdrew after 20 minutes of gun battle. Soldiers recovered one AK 47, one improvised explosive device and three backpacks with personal belongings and subversive documents from the encounter site.
“Tracks of bloods have been found (in the area) where the NPA (rebels) positioned themselves,” said 1Lt. Joe Martinez, chief of the 42nd Civil-Military Operations Company.
Security forces are now conducting pursuit operations against the rebels.