Army recovers 20 IEDs planted in Samar village; NPA blamed
MANILA, Philippines – The military recently foiled an attempt by communist rebels to sow terror and bomb civilian communities in Samar with the seizure of 20 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that the guerrillas planted in Barangay (village) Mabini, Basey town.
Lt. Col. Miguel Ceballos, commander of the Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion (IB), said the bombs were retrieved following reports from residents about suspicious-looking wires laid in the outskirts of Sitio Bega, Barangay Mabini in Basey. Troops from the 20th IB immediately went to the area and discovered the IEDs.
Lt. Col. Erwin Alea, public affairs officer of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division (ID), thanked the residents for their vigilance and quick reporting.
Alea quoted Maj. Gen. Jet Velarmino, commander of 8th ID, as saying that the seizure of IEDs only proved the NPA’s violent character.
“Guided by concerned residents in the locality, the soldiers went to the area and were able to recover 20 sets of IEDs,” said Alea in a statement.
Alea said that soldiers continued to look for more IEDs in the area.
He said that IEDs could have been intended to inflict harm on the soldiers patrolling in the area.
“Further, the civilians’ safety is threatened as these (IEDs) can also destroy innocent lives and properties,” said Alea.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Catapang visited the troops stationed in Maguindanao and was given updates on the atrocities perpetrated by lawless elements.
The Army recorded a series of IED attacks on military outposts and civilian communities.
Catapang told his troops to intensify the haunt for lawless elements which have been trying to spoil the government’s peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Catapang said that his visit was like a homecoming to reminisce his younger days as a junior officer.
He said he saw action against enemies of the state in the hinterlands of Maguindanao and Cotabato.
“I received my baptism of fire as a young lieutenant here. It is a very memorable place for me. I am glad that peace and development have gradually taken over this land,” Catapang said.
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