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NPA leader, intel officer nabbed; arms seized in Lanao

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 20:00 PM Sun Dec 1, 2019
Westmincom news release

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Government troops nabbed two ranking communist leaders and seized several high-powered firearms of the New People's Army following a law enforcement operation in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte at dawn of December 1, 2019.

Soldiers and policemen nabbed Christopher Cañete and Virjon Virtudazo in a combined operation in Barangay Dableston, Sultan Naga Dimaporo.

Cañete is the first deputy of Platoon Guerilla, Regional Operation Command, NCMRC and head of the Intel Staff, while Virtudazo is the Political Instructor of Platoon Bingo, Moro Company, SRC 5 NCMRC. Government troops recovered from their possession one caliber .45 pistol, one caliber .38 revolver, one IED, two rifle grenades, one blasting cap, and one detonating fuse.

During the custodial debriefing, the duo disclosed the location of an arms cache in Barangay Sto Niño, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte.

At about 11:30am today, the government forces reached the reported location and recovered seven M16 rifles, one AR18 rifle, one M203 Grenade Launcher, one cal 38 revolver, 286 M16 magazines, more than 2,000 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, eight rounds of M203 ammo, and 29 sets of bandoliers.

“Deliberate operations with law enforcement agencies are being sustained by our Joint Task Forces to run down and dismantle communist terrorists," said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

"We attribute this major accomplishment to the support of the civilian community in our continuing security operations and various peace efforts,” he added.

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