RECOVERED FIREARMS. State troopers unearth this weapons cache in Lupon, Davao Oriental on Aug. 17, 2022, after a tip from former New People’s Army leaders. The firearms belonged to the rebel group’s weakened Guerilla Front 18.
(Photo courtesy of 10ID)

DAVAO CITY – Government troopers unearthed an arms cache in Lupon, Davao Oriental after a tip from former New People’s Army (NPA) leaders, the Army's 10th Infantry Division (ID) said Friday.

In an interview, Capt. Mark Anthony Tito, the 10ID spokesperson, said the firearms found in Barangay San Isidro, Lupon on Wednesday belonged to the NPA's weakened NPA Guerilla Front (GF) 18.

The weapons, recovered by combined forces of the 10ID and the Philippine National Police, included an M203 rifle, an M16 rifle, an M79 grenade launcher, and an M14 rifle.

“Ka Baytol, a former executive committee member of the Sub-Regional Committee 2, and Ka Radz the former team leader Abe of GF 18 led the troops to the site,” Tito said.

Maj. Gen. Nolasco Mempin, the 10ID commander, remained optimistic that the NPA GFs 18 and 57 in the 10ID area of responsibility would soon be dismantled, paving the way for the Davao region to be declared “insurgency-free.”

"GF 18 is in Davao Oriental, and it's just a matter of time for we know how supportive the governor of Davao Oriental is in our campaign against the NPAs,” he said in a statement.

The Communist Party of the Philippines - NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)