Zamboanga City – The Philippine military believes that it has foiled a large-scale terror plot by communist rebels following the seizure of two truckloads of explosives earlier this week. However, the haul has also given rise to a new fear: That the New People’s Army (NPA) may now be selling explosives to other extremist groups.
Lt-Gen Alberto Braganza, the Southern Command chief, said he did not discount the possibility that some of the explosives might have already ended up in the hands of terror groups. “This could be part of a destablisation plan that we are trying to evaluate because of the presence of the huge amount and quantity of explosives,” he told reporters.
He described the arms haul as a “wake-up call and eye-opener for us to be aware and conscious of the threat posed by the Communist Party of the Philippines”.
The two truckloads of explosives, described as “C-4 commercial type”, were seized by government troops when they raided a suspected NPA camp in a town in Surigao del Norte in southern Philippines on May 9.
According to experts, half a kilogramme of C-4 explosive has the power to destroy a truck. Apart from the explosives, troops also seized a sizeable number of high-powered firearms and ammunition and 15 video CDs containing supposed NPA training instructions.
* Terrorist plot foiled with seizure of explosives (The Philippine Star, May 12)