FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – The Philippine Army based in this camp recovered five high-powered firearms and assorted ammunition during hot pursuit operations conducted against fleeing New People’s Army rebels after an encounter with government forces in Aurora province on Tuesday, April 21.
Major Amado C. Gutierrez, spokesman of the 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division, said the recovered arms cache consisted of four M-16 rifles, a baby Armalite (M653 rifle), and 235 rounds of ammunition and 17 magazines for M-16 rifle.
Gutierrez said they were found along the escape routes of the fleeing bandits in Bgy. Diaat, Maria Aurora on Thursday, April 23 or two days after the firefight.
He said the recovery of the arms cache was an offshoot of an information relayed by concerned civilians to the military.
Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, acting commander of the 91st Infantry "Sinagtala" Battalion lauded the efforts of the civilian people for disclosing the location of the firearms which the rebels left while running for their lives as troops were pursuing them.
"It is evident that the enemy incurred casualties too as the NPAs would not just leave behind their firearms and ammunition in their haste to escape, as it is their only defense. It is only a matter of time before the NPA bandits we are pursuing will be cornered, arrested, and be made to answer for their crimes," said Lt. Col. Rubio.
For his part, Brig. Gen. Alfredo V. Rosario, Jr., 7th ID Commander commended his men for the positive result of their pursuit operations.
He said: “Amidst the COVID-19 crisis that the country is facing, we have to intensify our security and combat operations to protect the relief goods that the government and the private stakeholders are giving to the needy. Our people can be assured that your Army will do all necessary actions to keep everyone safe, and for the relief goods to be made available for them at whatever cost."