2 ‘NPA bomb couriers’ nabbed in Compostela Valley—Army
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Philippines – Two alleged bomb couriers for the New People’s Army were arrested during a raid conducted by authorities in New Bataan, Compostela Valley.
Capt. Albert Caber, spokesperson of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City, said the arrest on Tuesday of Edwin Sarvida and Dodong Langoy in Barangay Andap village took place two hours before a clash occurred between soldiers and NPA rebels in the same village.
Two soldiers were wounded in the clash but the fatalities could have been more had the two bomb couriers managed to deliver the explosives – two 5-kilogram bombs – they were carrying to the NPA, Caber said.
Crudely made using plastic pipes, fertilizer compounds and nails as shrapnel, these makeshift bombs have become one of the potent weapons used by communist insurgents against government forces in Compostela Valley and nearby areas in recent days.
Caber said a civilian tipster was being credited for the arrest of the two bomb couriers.
The suspects are now in the custody of the New Bataan police and charges of illegal possession of explosives had been filed against them.
In Malita, Davao Occidental, the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion said four NPA rebels surrendered on July 4 amid the military’s peace and development efforts.
Lt. Col. Ronnie Babac, 74rd IB commander, said the surrender of the four rebels brought to 40 the number of NPA members who yielded to his unit since January.
“The main reason for their surrender is the difficulty they face in the hinterlands. We have succeeded in bringing them in due to our peace and development efforts,” Babac said.
He said with the help of villagers, the military was hoping to finally defeat the two NPA fronts operating in Davao Occidental and nearby Sarangani province.
“Since January, more than half of the members of Guerrilla Front 71 have already been surrendered and almost all members of GF 75 have been killed or had surrendered to 73IB stakeholders,” Babac said.