JOINT police and military operatives on Saturday seized a cache of automatic rifles and thousands of live ammunition in an abandoned building in Bulan, Sorsogon, Police Regional Office 5 director, Brigadier General Anthony S. Alcañeses announced yesterday.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the Bicol police director said the weapons and ammunition were found by members of the Bulan Municipal Police Station, the PRO5 Regional Mobile Force Battalion, the PNP Special Action Force and the Army’s 22nd Infantry Battalion in Sitio Angas in Barangay Otavi, Bulan municipality at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
“This is part of our stepped-up counter-insurgency campaign in the entire Bicol region following the marching orders of President Duterte to end local communist armed conflict and attain sustainable peace in the country,” said Brig. Gen. Alcañeses.
The official told the Journal Group that around 10 a.m. Saturday, a concerned citizen reported to the Bulan police station the presence of firearms inside an abandoned building in Bgy. Otavi.
Acting on the information, he said that troops went to the site where they found 10 M-16 automatic rifles, 64 boxes each containing 40 pieces of 7.62X39mm live ammunition and 21 boxes of 5.56 ammunition.
“We are now investigating how these weapons and thousands of live ammunition were acquired by the still unidentified persons. But initially, the markings on the boxes show they are government-owned,” Alcañeses said. Investigators are also looking at the possibility the weapons and ammunition could be intended for the New People’s Army if they were not discovered.
All the recovered pieces of weapons and live ammunition were placed under the custody of the Bulan police station.
Alcañeses expressed his gratitude to the local resident and local government authorities who helped them recover the weapons even as he reminded Bicolanos to maintain their vigilance and immediately report any unlawful activities or presence of illegal weapons in their areas.
“On our part, we will continue to strengthen our operations against insurgency and terrorism and will remain steadfast and ready to safeguard the right of the people to a safer and more peaceful community,” he said.
The PRO5 director at the same time acknowledged the efforts of Representative Narciso Bravo of the 1st District of Masbate to ensure the immediate passage of the Anti-Terror Bill which is now up for review by the legal and legislative staff of the Executive Secretary.