A total of 269 high-powered and regular firearms, and 174 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been recovered from communist rebels in the first quarter of the year, the military said Sunday.
In a press release, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office said the firearms and IEDs were confiscated during operations from January 1 to March 15.
In Eastern Mindanao alone, government forces seized 174 firearms and 140 IEDs from communist rebels and their supporters while in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte.
Six PVC pipe guns, four shotguns, four pistols, IEDs, grenade, and other war materiel were surrendered by four former rebels and five Militiamen of Bayan members to soldiers of the 29th Infantry Battalion on March 12.
Meanwhile, in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, two high-powered firearms were also surrendered by communists on March 2.
The 26th Infantry Battalion, on the other hand, seized one 7.62 mm rifle and one AK47 rifle from a communist killed in an encounter on March 12 in Kalinga province.
Joint military and police forces also seized four M16 rifles and two M14 rifles from six rebels nabbed in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental on March 3.
Rebels who surrendered have received immediate financial assistance and were enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP for livelihood and other assistance efforts.
Former rebels also received remuneration for the firearms they had surrendered.
The AFP vowed to continue conducting military operations to "degrade the armed capability of terrorists and further enhance community support program." —Anna Felicia Bajo/LBG, GMA News