3 Cotobato NPAs yield, IED recovered

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Three members of the New People’s Army surrendered in Kabacan, Cotabato, and turned over their high-powered firearms to the state security forces as a gesture of their sincerity to return to the folds of the law.

Joint Task Force Central Commander Maj. Gen. Roy Galido said yesterday the three surrendered to the military troops at the headquarters, 90th Infantry Battalion in Lower Paatan, Kabacan, Cotabato on Wednesday.

Galido identified them as Amed and Yongyong, members of the Guerilla Front 53, Southern Regional Committee 3, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee; and Koykoy, a member of the Milisyang Bayan.

The three-handed to military one M1 Garand rifle, one Shotgun, one Uzi, one M79 Grenade Launcher, two hand grenades, and one anti-personnel mine, he said.

Galido attributed the success of the unit to the effort of the intelligence community to convince the confused residents to surrender.

Since January this year, a total of 113 NPA gunmen have surrendered to the military in Central Mindanao. Of the number, 107 are regular NPA members and six are supporters of the front.

Meanwhile, in Lanao del Norte, Joint Task Force ZamPeLan Commander Brig. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete said yesterday that soldiers who were conducting a security operation along the Tagoloan-Iligan City highways recovered improvised explosive device components.

Nafarrete said troops of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion intercepted a riding-in-tandem in Barangay Pugaan, Iligan City on   Wednesday.

According to Nafarrete,  the rider immediately turned back and speeded away seeing soldiers patrolling the Tagoloan-Iligan City highways prompting the soldiers to pursue the suspicious riding-in-tandem.

While fleeing, the back rider threw his backpack as they continued to speed up and escape, he said.

Reinforcing military personnel picked up the backpack and inspected the content. The soldiers  found two cylindrical-shaped items fully wrapped in black electrical tape with wiring attached and one 9-volt wet cell battery believed to be components of an Improvised Explosive Device, the JTF-Z commander said..

Nafarrete theorized that the IED was intended to create havoc during the Diyandi Festival in Iligan City on Thursday.

Diyandi is a Higaonon term which means thanksgiving, through the merry-making festivities God’s goodness and blessings all year through in honor of their Patron Saint, Saint Michael the Archangel. merry-making and it’s all about celebrating.

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