The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) discovered a New People’s Army (NPA) arms cache while conducting combat operations against communist terrorists in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte on August 30, 2020.
The said arms cache discovered by 53IB’s Task Unit “KAISER” at Sitio Lacnapan, Barangay Pange contained an M16 rifle with a defaced serial number, two rounds of ammunition for .50-caliber rifle, an empty magazine of M16 assault rifle, an empty magazine of AK47 assault rifle, and ammunition for Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG).
The discovery of the arms cache was made possible after the revelation of a newly-surrendered former NPA rebel.
In a statement, 53IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said the cooperation and revelations of former NPA rebels are “proof and manifestation that they, too, want this insurgency and terrorism to end.”
Herrera said government troops are “true to its commitment to protect the people and finally end communist insurgency and terrorism in Siayan, ZDN.”
“We are in the end game now. More and more rebels surrender because aside from wanting to change, lead peaceful lives, and start anew, they, too, know that the communist terrorist groups’ days are already numbered,” Herrera said.
The Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas said that the Brigade will not stop until its mission is accomplished.
“We will not stop until the people [of Siayan] are safe from the [NPA] communist-terrorist groups’ atrocities and terroristic activities,” Nicolas said.
In mid-August this year, two Community Support Program (CSP) teams were deployed in Barangays Pange and Macasing of Siayan town to help address the issues exploited by the NPA terrorists in the area.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.