Ex-rebel leads soldiers to NPA arms cache in Agusan del Norte

THE military discovered and seized an arms cache after a former member of the New People’s Army led soldiers to its location in Agusan del Norte over the weekend.

Jonel Pasco alias Joel, a former member of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 21C, Guerilla Front (GF) 21, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) Westland, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA, disclosed the location of the fireams in the hinterlands of Sitio Kaunlaran, Batangay Tagbongabong, Agusan del Norte.

Major General Romeo Brawner Jr., commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division ( 4th ID), hailed the recovery of the weapons and Pasco’s surrender through the 901st Brigade under Brig. Gen. George Banzon.

Brawner said the insurgency group is ”crumbling” after the death of Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, the NPA’s top commander in Mindanano.

“There has been a ruckus within the CTG [communist terrorist group] in our Area of responsibility. They are anxious of what and where they are headed as they are always on the run to evade government troops,” he said.

“Their morale is low due to the recent surrender of 18 CTG leaders and members who brought along 11 high-powered firearms last November 14 and 17. There is mass demoralization due to the apprehension and surrender of its key leaders aggravated by the death of Ka Oris,” he added.

Brawner said that since the death of Madlos, a total of 47 NPA leaders and members have surrendered to the different units under the 4ID, with 17 high-powered and low-powered firearms seized.

Major Frank Garello Jr., 4th ID spokesman, said since Brawner’s assumption as 4th ID commander in July this year,  a total of 128 rebels have surrendered and 71 others have been either captured or killed during 88 government-initiated encounters.

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