Army troops seize guns from Mindanao breakaway rebels


The military seized two firearms during a series of operations against two members of a group that reportedly splintered from a communist guerrilla front in Mindanao.

Operating troops from the Army’s 10th Infantry Division under the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) recovered an M-653 rifle and 9mm pistol during the series of operations last week against Meridio Sambilad and another communist rebel in Barangay Tuyan, Malapatan, Sarangani.

Sambilad alias Yoyong and Boyaks is the secretary of the defunct Guerrilla Front Tala of the New People’s Army.

According to Eastmincom commander Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, former members of the disbanded guerrilla front have been providing information against Sambilad and the other rebel, including their whereabouts.

“I urge Sambilad and his comrades to surrender peacefully instead of continuing to live a pointless life in hiding. After all, they no longer have somewhere else to go since our troops have already surrounded them. Therefore, surrender now and avail of the benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program [ECLIP],” Almerol said in a news statement released by Eastmincom.

In Basilan, the campaign against loose firearms, including those that are in the hands of individuals that are being used for official purposes, is gaining headway.

The Army’s 68th Infantry Battalion under the Joint Task Force Basilan stenciled loose firearms In Lamitan City in the presence of Lamitan Mayor Rose Furigay, Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay and other local government officials.

Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command commander Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. said a total of 541 assorted firearms that are undocumented were stenciled in the presence of Lamitan City officials.

Col. Frederick Sales, deputy commander of the 101st Infantry Brigade, said the firearms were returned to their owners after the stenciling. The loose firearms are owned by members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team.

Rosario said that from September 2021 to date, a total of 881 loose firearms have been stenciled in Basilan. Of the 887, 229 were stenciled in the municipality of Tipo-Tipo on September 15, 75 in Tuburan on November 24 and 42 in Akbar on November 26.

In Maguindanao, a member of the Daulah Islamiyah-Tureife Group was killed on Wednesday during a firefight at Sitio Ulangkaya, Barangay Ganta, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao.

Rosario identified him as Hassan Indal.

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