Disarming drive nets 14 guns

THESE 14 assault rifles belonging to New People’s Army guerrillas were seized by soldiers from a hinterland village in Quezon, Bukidnon last Saturday. — PHILIPPINE STAR/JOHN FELIX M. UNSON

COTABATO CITY — A total of 14 high-caliber firearms were seized by army soldiers from a hut discovered by farmers and believed to be an armory of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the village of Lumintao, Quezon town in Bukidnon last weekend.

Major Gen. Allan D. Hambala, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said on Monday that the weapons cache consisted of eight M16 rifles, an M653 rifle, two M14 rifles, and three AK-47 rifles.

The guns were seized by elements of the Army’s 1003rd Infantry Brigade, who also reported to their commander, Brig. Gen. Marion T. Angcao, that NPA rebels had been forcibly collecting monthly “revolutionary taxes” from hapless farmers in the area.

Mr. Hambala said they theorized that the firearms, which were concealed under a stack of banana leaves, were left by rebels because they could have descended to the marketplace in the town center to purchase food and other supplies. — John Felix M. Unson

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