TACLOBAN CITY– A cache of firearms was recovered by government troops in the aftermath of their encounter with alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Mapanas town, Northern Samar on Wednesday (May 10) at about 5 am.
A soldier was also wounded on his left arm during the 20-minute firefight between the warring groups that took place in Barangay Magsaysay, a hinterland village 15 kms away from the town proper.
The soldiers, belonging to the 74th Infantry Battalion, were able to recover assorted firearms from the communist rebels.
Report from the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, Samar said the recovered firearms include two M14 rifles, two AK47 rifles, two M16 Rifles, two M4 rifles, one Ingram, one Uzi submachine gun, one homemade shotgun, three cal.45 pistol, and one 38 revolver.
The recovery of the 15 assorted firearms from their enemies was described as a ‘major setback’ by Col. Efren Morados, the commanding officer of the 803rd Infantry Brigade based in Catarman, the provincial capital of Northern Samar.
“We will relentlessly pursue them, for we are determined to put an end to their atrocities here in Northern Samar. Despite this, we are still offering you peace to start a new life with your loved ones. Lay down your arms and return to the folds of the law,” he said in a statement.
It was learned that Magsaysay, which has more than 600 population, was once among the villages in the town considered to have been under the ‘influence’ of the communist armed group but was declared as ‘cleared’ last November 10, 2022.
(JOEY A. GABIETA /ROBERT DEJON)