Monday, September 7, 2020

23IB uncovers abandoned CNT lair in AgNor, seizes high powered-firearms parts, supplies

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – An abandoned hideout of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) was uncovered by the troopers of the 23rd Infantry “Masigasig” Battalion on Saturday afternoon, September 5, 2020 in the forested area of Mt. Indocay, Sitio Bulak, Barangay Lower Olave, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. 

The discovery of the hideout and the retrieval of the different parts and supplies for high-powered firearms were successful due to the timely information provided by the local residents in the area. Upon receipt of said information, 23rd IB troopers were immediately dispatched in the area for security operations that led to the discovery of the CNT den.

The abandoned hideout measured 300 square meters that can accommodate around 30 persons. The civilians in the area said the CNTs abandoned the hideout about five months ago.

Recovered from the area includes one (1) Generator (PROMAX), one (1) magazine for AK-47 rifle, two (2) magazines for M-14 rifles, two (2) magazines for caliber .45 pistol, forty (40) rounds of CTG 5.56mm balls, eight (8) rounds for CTG caliber .30 balls, one (1) bolt assembly for M15E2S rifle, one (1) barrel for M15E2S rifle, one (1) lower receiver for M15E2S rifle, one (1) upper and lower handguard for M15E2S rifle, one (1) butt for M15E2S rifle, one (1) buffer tube for M15E2S rifle, one (1) butt plate for M-14 rifle, and one (1) upper receiver of caliber .45 pistol.

Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the Acting Commander of 23IB expressed gratitude to the local populace in the area who pinpointed the exact location of the abandoned enemy hideout.

“We are glad that the local residents are very cooperative to us in ending local communist armed conflict in Agusan del Norte,” Paulo said.

He emphasized that Sitio Bulak is formerly known as the guerrilla base of the CNTs until they realized that they were just manipulated by the said terror group.

“After years of suffering from the hands of the CNTs, the people finally disowned and cut their support to the said group making it hard now for the CNTs to enter in the said village,” Paulo said. 

He also thanked the local government unit (LGU) of Buenavista, the barangay officials and the other stakeholders for their continued support in the efforts to drive out the remaining CNTs in Agusan del Norte.

“With the support of the local government and other stakeholders, numerous plans and programs will soon be established in the area,” Lt. Col. Paulo said.

Among the efforts he highlighted is the implementation of the People Empowerment in Agriculture for Community Enhancement or PEACE Project that will promote increased agricultural production through organic farming.

The project, he added, will benefit the former rebels (FRs) who are now with their families and communities, the Indigenous People (IPs) and other sectors in the different towns of Agusan del Norte.

“This program will also be implemented in Sitio Bulak and will be successful if supported by the residents,” the 23IB Commander exclaimed.

He urged the residents of Sitio Bulak to continue their support to the government and the Army and cooperate with the implementation of different peace and development interventions of the government.

“This is what we promised you before – that when you abandon the CNT movement, the government will pour all its resources to uplift your socio-economic life conditions and bring genuine peace and development right into your homes and community,” Lt. Col. Paulo said.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 23rd Infantry Battalion, Joint Task Force Diamond, PA

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