TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- In wake of the recent burning of heavy equipment, two of the highest leaders in Cagayan appealed to the armed rebels to stop ‘harassing’ construction companies.
In a joint statement, Archbishop Sergio Utleg and Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said the “burning of the equipment will mean more suffering for the people.”
Utleg and Mamba said the town of Baggao were affected to the discontinuance of the road construction after five construction firms pulled out their construction equipment and personnel in the area.
“We, Gov. Manuel Mamba and Archbishop Sergio Utleg, DD, jointly voice this appeal in behalf of all the Cagayanos especially of the people of Baggao. FOr so long, Baggaoenos have been deprived of good roads. Thus, the honest efforts these months to pave roads caused excitement among people,” the statement said.
“We will have a short summer this year and any delay of road construction will mean more suffering for the people of Baggao especially during the rainy season,” they added.
On March 28, suspected members of the New People’s Army guerrilla admitted to torching the hauler truck, compactor and two backhoes of a construction company working on a road construction from Alcala town to Baggao town.
In a phone interview earlier, Lieutenant Colonel Rembert Baylosis said NPA rebels burned the heavy equipment after the company refused to pay them revolutionary taxes.
The NPA’s Fortunato Camus Command operating in Cagayan Valley region said the burning was a result of the construction company “disobedience” to the law of Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF).
Stop gov’t corruption, too
In the same joint statement, Mamba and Utleg also asked the construction firms, local politicians and the government functionaries “especially of DPWH” to stop corrupt practices.
“We are all aware that corruption in the form of SOP’s is the major cause of delay of construction of public utilities like roads and bridges; not to mention the substandard qualities of public utilities,” the statement said.
The two leaders said the NPA’s adherence to their appeal will be a concrete manifestation of their support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s “call for change.”
“We all deserve good roads and bridges, and good quality public utilities; much better than what we have now,” the said. -Northernforum.net
Photo of Mamba courtesy of Cagayan PIO; Photo of Utleg courtesy of Misyonaryong Lakwatsero and photo of burned construction equipment courtesy of 17th IB.