Mindanao Times

2 remains for alleged NPA rebels, firearms recovered

- By Rhoda Grace B. Saron

TWO HIGH-POWERED firearms, explosives, and ammunition were recovered by authoritie­s in Agusan del Sur around 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Meanwhile, two remains of the New People’s Army rebels were also recovered in the same operation.

Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, the director of Police Regional Office XI, said law enforcers recovered one M14 rifle, one Springfiel­d Garand Rifle, one anti-personnel mine, three M14 magazines, 42 rounds of 7.62 ammunition, and nine rounds of .30 caliber ammunition.

Escobal said all the arms cache was recovered with the help of alias Tiger/ Pao2x, political instructor of the Front Committee 88 in Barangay Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

Col. Edgar Alan Okubo, deputy regional director for operations of the PRO XI, supervised the successful facilitati­on of NPA surrendere­es and the recovery of firearms.

Further, he said police dug up two bodies, later identified as Ka Al from Quezon, Bukidnon and Ka Dope from Cagayan de Oro. Accordingl­y, both were killed during an armed encounter in 2017 and buried in a shallow grave.

Their remains were turned over to the Agusan del Sur PPO.

“With the intention to lay the bodies at peace and to give them a proper burial, the PRO with the help of the media and other organizati­ons would like to help in their identifica­tion and wishes to locate their family,” Escobal said.

With the accomplish­ment, Escobal commended the team for the successful operation.

“The 12-hour hike to recover the items and the cadavers is not an easy task.

But this is our contributi­on to ending the local armed conflict. We endure the hardship for the safety of people and for attaining lasting peace in the country,” he said.

Further, Escobal reiterated the government’s call for the rebels to lay down their arms and live a normal life. “The door of PRO XI will always be open to assist them,” he added.

Rebel arrested

Meanwhile, an NPA leader was arrested in an interagenc­y law enforcemen­t operations in Sitio Tagmalinaw, Barangay Poblacion, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur last Saturday.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the Eastern Mindanao Command spokespers­on, identified him as Renan A. Cantos alias Ronin/Loki/Jelong/Sanjo, commander of a guerrilla unit in Surigao Del Sur.

Balagtey said Cantos was the 10th NPA leader in EastMinCom to be arrested or killed this year.

He was apprehende­d during a random checkpoint in the area. He has a standing warrant of arrest for murder, frustrated murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and robbery.

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