Gov’t forces tighten watch for NPA supplies after food, toiletry cargo yields bombs, rebel items
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Government forces are on a tighter watch at checkpoints in the Caraga region for communist guerrilla supply after a shipment of food and other items, believed to be headed to a New People’s Army (NPA) camp, had been seized in Surigao del Sur.
On Wednesday (Oct. 14), police and soldiers at a checkpoint in the town of Lanuza flagged down a cargo truck loaded with various items and carrying several workers.
Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., Caraga police director, said authorities were earlier tipped about the transport of the goods by civilian informants.
When examined, the haul of mostly food, cooking stuff, some toiletries and undies, also included two improvised bombs and an emblem of the NPA.
Capt. Dorothy Tumulak, Caraga police information officer, said the truck was carrying three sacks of rice, a sack of flour, a sack of salt, 20 kilos of brown sugar, 20 packs of noodles, 30 pieces of bath soap, a box of sardines, five bags of candy, 14 bags of assorted coffee, two gallons of cooking oil, a gallon of soy sauce, five empty plastic containers, and six cellophane sacks.
Tumulak said authorities also seized two improvised bombs, a “Bagong Hukbong Bayan” flag, the emblem of the NPA, 20 pairs of black socks, nine packs of sanitary napkins, six pieces of men’s underwear, and 20 pairs of black rubber boots.
Maj. Rodulfo Cordero Jr., spokesperson of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the seized items could be bound for the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 30 which operates in the northern part of Surigao del Sur.
Police arrested the truck driver, Marcelo Ramos, 46, and his passengers, identified as Ramil Berezo, 40, Marlon Cervantes, 33, Joey Silagan, 46, and Brian Paglinawan, 38.
They are said to be employees of ABI Construction based in Tandag City.
“We truly appreciate the help and cooperation of concerned individuals who tipped us off,” said Caramat.
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