CATBALOGAN CITY, Feb. 26 (PNA) — Army troops operating in Eastern Samar province captured on Tuesday two New People’s Army (NPA) members in an abandoned camp in the outskirt of Balingasag village, Oras, Eastern Samar.

Based on the initial report from Lt. Col. Peter B Burgonio, commanding officer of the 14th Infantry Battalion, his troops were conducting peace and security operations when a concerned citizen informed them about the presence of NPA rebels nearby.

The troops immediately responded and proceeded to the NPAs’ location. Upon arriving in the vicinity, the troops immediately scoured the area and saw two individuals trying to flee upon sensing that government troops were coming.

Soldiers apprehended the two rebels and seized nine blasting caps used for improvised explosive device. The two were later identified as Bencito L. Montalla, 39 and Jessie S. Gubala, 27 and were found to be members of NPA Yunit Militia of Balingasag village.

The two were turned over to Oras town police on the same day, but were later released by the police the following day. The battalion will file illegal possession of explosive devices case against the suspects.

Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, 8th Infantry Division Commander, expressed his appreciation for the efforts of troops involved in the operation as the recovery of the explosive devices spared the lives of civilians and soldiers alike, who might have fallen victim to NPA land-mining activities, had the explosive devices not recovered from the suspects. (PNA)