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Bomb-making materials found in Bukidnon.

By Mike Crismundo

CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City - Government authorities found a cache of bomb-making materials left in the outskirts of Purok 5, Barangay Lumbo, in Valencia City, Bukidnon province, on Thursday.

A declassified military and intelligence report said these found bomb making components might be used to harass military troopers in Bukidnon province.

The Bukidnon Police provincial Office, the Army's 403rd Infantry Brigade and all operation control (Opcon) units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police are in heightened security mode to address security threats in that agricultural-rich province of Bukidnon.

The discovery of the cache of bomb-making materials at 11:55 a.m. on Thursday took place after concerned villagers in Purok 5, Barangay Lumbo, Valencia City, reported the presence of suspicious-looking persons roaming around at Purok 5, Barangay Lumbo, Valencia City early this week.

The Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC), Valencia City Police Station, Provincial Intelligence Branch and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the elements of the Army in the area, under the 403rd Brigade immediately responded to the report.

The responding police force found in the reported area 21 improvised hand grenades, 5 pieces improvised anti-personnel clamor mines, three PVC pipes, 52-meter long electrical wire, 3 kilograms of soluble fertilizer, 200 grams of sulfur, chemical substances, a kilogram of ANFO (ammonium nitrite, fuel oil), 4 pieces dynamite; 60 pieces improvised electric blasting cap; 240 kilograms steel cut fragments (round bars), 370-meter safety fuse, gun powder, steel pipes and other bomb-making materials.

A separate police and military report believed that the bomb-making materials allegedly belonged to the New People's Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) operating in Bukidnon province and Agusan areas in Caraga region.

The suspicious persons roaming around the area were already gone when responding government troopers arrived, it was also reported.

According to police authorities the presence of the explosives and bomb-making components posed a threat to safety and security as it even sows fear among the people in the area.

In a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin late Friday afternoon, Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commanding general of the Army's 403rd Infantry Brigade, applauded the personnel involved in the joint AFP-PNP law enforcement operations while condemning the CPP-NPA for their continued use of landmines to terrorize communities.

"I congratulate the personnel of Valencia City Police Station as well as the Bukidnon Police Provincial Office and 88th Infantry Battalion for successfully pre-empting the possible destruction of lives and limbs of both our troops and civilians through the seizure of these explosives and paraphernalia. These materials indicate the continued disrespect of the CPP/NPA terrorists for the rights of both our state security forces and the civilians by continuing to manufacture such IEDs that are intended to mutilate the bodies of their victims," the 403rd Brigade commander added.

"This is not the first time the PNP and the Philippine Army conducted joint operations towards the NPA terrorists. The Joint Internal Security Operations Plan had well served its purpose because our operations with the PNP had been successful. Now, I am calling to the other sectors of our society, we cannot fight terrorism alone - your security forces will not be able to do it on their own, fighting terrorism in Northern Mindanao and Caraga region requires everybody's effort. Together, we can stop terrorism brought by the CPP-NPA," Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, commanding general of the Army's Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, said in the same statement released to The Manila Bulletin late Friday afternoon.

Alert status was ordered to all field units of the AFP and PNP as the provincial government of Bukidnon is preparing for the 2018 "Kaamulan" Festival on March 24, 2018.

In a related development, two alleged NPA bomb makers were arrested in Barangay Magangit, Maco town, Compostela Valley last week (Feb. 26), said Capt. Jerry S. Lamosao, regional Army spokesperson of the 10th Infantry (Agila) Division (10th ID) on Saturday.

Identities of the 2 alleged NPA bomb makers are temporarily withheld as tactical investigation is still being conducted by the 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion and Maco Municipal Police Station.

The arrested bomb makers were both members of Ordnance Team, Sub Regional Committee 2 (SRC2) of the CPP-NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC), the 10th ID spokesperson said.

"They (alleged NPA bomb makers) are skilled in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used by the NPAs in bombing government troops and civilian populace in Southern Mindanao Region," claimed Capt. Lamosao, in a statement.

Seized from them were one M16 Armalite rifle with defaced serial number, 2 aluminum magazines and 20 rounds of live ammunitions, he added.

CAPTION(S):

Shown in photos are the bomb components found by the government authorities in the outskirts of Barangay Lumbo, in Valencia City, Bukidnon province on Thursday, March 1, 2018. (Photo courtesy of 403rd Brigade-PAO/Manila Bulletin)
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Title Annotation:Mindanao
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Mar 3, 2018
Words:815
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