Army recovers high-powered guns in Rizal farm raid
SAN PEDRO CITY – Soldiers and government agents on Tuesday recovered high-powered firearms supposedly owned by communist guerrillas that targeted to overthrow President Rodrigo [‘Duterte.
Armed with a search warrant, a joint team from the Philippine Army and the National Bureau of Investigation raided a house in Sitio Dalig in Teresa town, Rizal around 7:30 a.m.
Recovered were four M653 baby armalite rifles, an M203 grenade launcher, five U.S. made 12-gauge shotguns, and three pistols of calibers .45, .38, and 9mm.
They also found six units of two-way radios, two grenades, eight cellphones, and documents that contained “war materials.”
Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade, said the search warrant was issued against Armando Lazarte alias “Pat” or “Romano,” allegedly the secretary of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Calabarzon, and Tirso Alcantara, a former commander of the NPA’s regional guerrilla unit.
Alcantara was a National Democratic Front consultant to the peace negotiations who was granted temporary liberty in 2016.
Alcantara had reportedly fled before the troops arrived this morning, according to Army’s division spokesperson Captain Patrick Jay Retumban in a text message.
Eight people were arrested during the raid.
Burgos, in a statement, said the presence of NPA leaders in Rizal, a province adjacent to Metro Manila, were “indicators” of the supposed “Red October” destabilization plot against Duterte.
The Armed Forces earlier said a coalition led by the Communist Party of the Philippines with supporters of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, members of the group Tindig Pilipinas, and Liberal Party leaders, were planning to unseat the president next month.
Major General Rhoderick Parayno, Commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said the operation had “preempted” the supposed destabilization./lb
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