Military takes over NPA camp used as training ground for bomb makers

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Government troops in southern Palawan were able to capture last Friday a New People’s Army campground for agents specializing in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Lt. Col. Danilo Facundo,commanding officer of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4), said ​the takeover of the NPA sitewas made during clearing operations after his troops clashed with the armed rebels at Sitio Ilyan, Barangay Malihud, Bataraza.

The NPA camp was discovered at Sitio Kambingan, only a kilometer north of the encounter site in Sitio Ilyan.

“It appears this is the campground where they are training to make IEDs to do more roadside bombing activities that may hurt innocent civilians. Losing this is definitely a major stumbling block to the rebels in Palawan,” he said.

Facundo said the site was abandoned by the NPA​ terrorists​ to evade the Marines who were hot on their trail after the Malihud encounter.

Numerous components for IED-making and some mutinous documents​ were found in the deserted camp which has ​21 existing small and large single-story buildings made of crude indigenous materials, a tower guard post tree house, an advance post, a ​sizable outhouse for assemblies, and more than a few reinforced underground shelters.

Western Command (WESCOM) ​s​pokesperson Captain Cherryl Tindog said with the breakdown of government peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF after the resurgence of their extremist activities, Team WESCOM gave assurance that it would continue its conduct of focused military operations and humanitarian activities in Palawan​.

She thanked the help of partner communities in reporting the sightings of armed rebels which led to the capture of the campground.​

“The CPP-NPA-NDF will continue to lie to defend their acts of violence, but the people of Palawan know better — this extremism will only hurt innocent lives,” she said.

The capture of the NPA campground in Malihud ​happened after President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that he would no longer talk with the CPP-NPA-NDF for peace. (Celeste Anna R. Formoso/PNA)