Troops recover Abu Sayyaf arms cache

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

June 5, 2019, 6:48 pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Government troops recovered an arms cache belonging to Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in an island off Sulu province, a top military official said Wednesday.

Major Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the arms cache was discovered in Minis Island, Patikul, Sulu at about 7:45 a.m. Monday.

Pabayo said troops of the Army’s 6th Special Forces Battalion, backed by Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) members, were on security patrol when they discovered a cache of M-14 rifle, an M-16 Armalite rifle with several rounds of ammunition, and military and police uniforms.

He said another high-powered firearm, an M-16 “Baby Armalite”, with an attached M-203 grenade launcher, and hundreds of ammunition for M-16 and M-14 rifles were also recovered in the same location at about 3:35 p.m. on the same day.

“The said firearms were cached by surviving Abu Sayyaf members under aka Jackie Chan during the encounter with the Philippine Marine Ready Force last Dec. 13, 2018. The recovery was a result of the continuous Community Support Programs and the utilization of BPATs on the island,” the military official said.

He said the recovered firearms and war materiel were temporarily kept at the headquarters of the Army’s 6th Special Forces Battalion.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, vowed that “more successful operations are coming our way” with the support of local government units and Sulu residents. (PNA)