NPA camp, bomb factory raided

Some of the improvised explosive devices, weapons, and ammunition recovered from an alleged camp and bomb-making facility of the New People’s Army at Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Police Regional Office -7 / Sipalay City Police Station)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) discovered an alleged camp of the New People’s Army (NPA), which also served as a manufacturing site for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Sitio Cabilocan, Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental last Sunday.

Brigadier General Ignacio Madriaga, commander of 302nd Infantry Brigade (IBde), said combat operations in coordination with the police were conducted after they received information from civilians about the existence of the NPA camp in the upland part of the village.

Madriaga said the camp was situated in a very far part of the village and has a difficult trail.

“A person needs to pass through a small hole to get inside the camp, which can occupy big number of individuals,” he added.

A five minute firefight between the troops and five camp guards believed to be the rebel’s unit militia members ensued when the government forces were able to enter the camp.

However, the suspected rebels were able to evade arrest.

No casualties were reported on the government side.

Authorities seized from the camp site several weapons used for making IEDs, assorted ammunition, firearms, subversive documents, and tools. All recovered items were brought to Sipalay City Police Station for proper disposition.

Madriaga said the IEDs were believed to be distributed in Regions 6 and 7, and other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, Police Major Jake Barila, city police chief, said authorities were able to arrest Jory Mate, 34; and Roberto Tingson, 38, both residents of the said village, who were alleged members of the NPA.

Barila said the two suspects were arrested in the vicinity during the operation was conducted after they were allegedly caught in possession of a homemade .38 caliber revolver loaded with three live ammuniton and a shotgun.

Barila said the two suspects will be charged for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Barila said one of them told the police that some armed men are using his house as venue for a meeting. But, both of them did not admit any affiliation with the revolutionary movement.

Mate and Tingson are detained at Sipalay City Police Station.

Barila also said that three other residents, including a woman were brought to the police station and were subjected for investigation after they were sighted in the area during the operation. However, they were released yesterday morning after their identities were already cleared.

A paralyzed elderly man was brought by rescuers at the infirmary health center after he was seen at the area.

Barila said the man was identified as a rebel returnee, who will also be subjected for investigation to determine why he was abandoned at the said area.