Army recovers part of rice seized by NPA rebels

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 21 Apr) – The military recovered on Tuesday more than 400 sacks of rice, part of the 1,200 sacks seized by suspected New People’s Army rebels from a warehouse in Valencia, Bukidnon.

Capt. Patrick Martinez, public information officer of the 4th Infantry Division, said soldiers from the 8th Infantry Battalion, accompanied by the police, recovered the stolen sacks of rice in Purok 4, Barangay Banlag in Valencia City around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Armed rebels from the NPA South-Central Bukidnon regional command earlier seized more than 1,200 sacks of rice from the warehouse owned by Valencia City Councilor Helen Bernal last Monday.

NPA spokesperson Ariel Magbanwag said the rice seized in their operation “Bawi sa Bugas” were distributed to hungry farmers suffering from the prolonged drought in Bukidnon.

Martinez said villagers told the military that six unidentified persons left the sacks of rice in their houses in Purok 4, Barangay Banlag in Valencia City.

He said the troops also recovered a truck used by the rebels in ferrying the sacks.

Martinez said the soldiers and policemen are still searching for the rest of the rice that were stolen.