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Tribesmen finger terrorists ‘secret’ lair

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The government’s fight against terrorism received a huge boost after local tribesmen in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon pointed to the anarchists’ secret hideout in one of the remotest areas of the province.

Members of the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion (60IB) said the Ata Manabo tribe complained to them that members of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), have been using their place in Sitio Tapayanon as their hideout.

This prompted the soldiers to act on the complaints and discovered the hideaway following a recent run of military operations in the hinterland tri-boundary of Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte provinces.

The village, being geographically isolated, has little or no access to mainstream society, thus it became a very convenient target for the terrorists’ exploitation.

The tribal leaders revealed that their village is being used by the different units of the CPP-NPA as hiding place for several years now, but they were too afraid to report their situation for fear of reprisals from the rebels.

The soldiers said the rebels’ hideaway could have accommodated around 30 to 80 persons at any one time.

Some of the items found in the area include improvised tables and beds, rice husks and fresh food wastes.

The tribesmen narrated that they were forced by the terrorists to work for them such as assigning the young men to guard the place while the women were ordered to plant and produce food for their consumption.

The suspects also order the young men to carry their supplies and backpacks whenever they move from one place to another.

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