TACLOBAN CITY– Government troopers in Leyte recovered several firearms from the suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on Tuesday (Dec.13).

The recovery of the firearms and even medical kits from the communist armed members was a result of an encounter between the two warring groups in Barangay Luneta, Lapaz town at about 1 pm on that day.

Lt. Col.Ernesto Dela Rosa, the commanding commander of the 14th IB, said that the recovered firearms include one loaded shotgun; two anti-personnel mines; and a medical kit.

The three armed rebels, who belong to the Platoon 1, SRC-LEVOX of the communist armed group in Leyte, fled after the encounter.

Dela Rosa said that they are expecting the rebels to stage attacks as they are to mark the 54th founding anniversary of the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

“This is in anticipation of the celebration of the 54th Anniversary of the Communist Party of Philippines on December 26, 2022 where notably prior the celebration, the rebels would conduct attack against AFP and PNP,” he said in a statement.

“The recovery of anti-personnel mines and its components is a clear indication of their terroristic plans not only against the security forces but also against innocent civilians in the area,” Dela Rosa added.

Meantime, Col. Noel Vestuir, the commander of the 802nd Infantry (Peerless) Brigade based in Ormoc of which the 14th IB belong, renewed the call for the rebels to stop their armed struggle and returns to the folds of the law.

“The people in the area are no longer supporting you, they are now telling your presence in the communities and the locations of your hideouts even in the hinterlands,” he said in another statement.

“You could not hide and evade forever, and as we celebrate Christmas season, we welcome you to the mainstream of our society, we will treat you as victims that should be helped and rescued,” Vestuir added.