Captive leftist rebel leads Philippine gov't troops to cache of firearms

15:28, August 01, 2010      

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A captured New People's Army (NPA) rebel led government troops to a cache of high-powered firearms in northeastern Philippine province of Camarines Sur on Saturday, Philippine military said Sunday.

The rebel-tipster was among the three insurgents captured by forces of the 31st Infantry Battalion at Tible village in Lupi town, following a brief clash Friday. The three yielded four high- powered firearms, Maj. Harold Cabunoc, spokesman of the Army's 9th Infantry Division, said.

The military did not employ any form of mental or physical torture on the three since their capture, Cabunoc said, adding the captives "are thankful to us. They are treated well and we respected their rights, prompting of them to voluntarily give information to us."

The rebel, whose identity was not disclosed for security reasons, led the soldiers to the firearms which were buried at the same village around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The soldiers unearthed from the area five M16 rifles, two cal . 45 Thompson sub-machineguns and a cal 5.56mm Ultimax Squad Light Machinegun.

Since January this year, Philippine Army forces in the country' s Bicol region have accounted a total 46 high-powered firearms and 27 low-powered firearms which were either seized following firefights, surrendered or recovered, Cabunoc said.

At present, the number of the NPAs' firearms in the region is now down to 302 high-powered firearms and 31 low-powered firearms, Cabunoc said, adding the NPA in the region currently has about 380 members.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a guerrilla campaign in the countryside for four decades. Military estimates the NPA strength at more than 4,000 men scattered in more than 60 guerrilla fronts throughout the country.

Peace talks between the government and the leftists bogged down after the United States included the NPA and its parent body as foreign terrorist organizations in 2002.

Source: Xinhua


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