TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) Henry Abraham Command burned equipment in Santa Teresita town in Cagayan early Saturday morning, October 7.
In a report, Police Senior Inspector Aleeh Bacuyag, town police chief, said more or less 50 rebels stormed a quarry site in Sitio Karayatan in Barangay Dungeg in Santa Teresita and torched two backhoe and one dump truck.
Bacuyag said the rebels were reportedly armed with high-powered firearms when they attacked the site around 6:30 am on Saturday.
Bacuyag added that one of the bodyguards were disarmed of his .45 caliber gun. All the personnel in the area were unharmed and later reported the torching to police.
Police said the burned equipment are owned by billionaire Danilo Tamayo, the owner of one of the biggest construction companies in the country.
Meanwhile, in a press release, the Fortunato Camus Command admitted to the burning of equipment, saying it was a “punishment” for Tamayo’s construction company for “destroying water irrigation systems in the area.”
Tamayo’s construction, DDT Konstract Inc, is one of SM Development Corporation’s partners in its real estate ventures.
“The punitive action was meted out as a response to the people’s clamor to punish the construction company for destroying the environment, livelihood and lives of the people in the town,” NPA said in its statement.
The NPA unit also owned up to disarming barangay officials in Barangay Villa Cielo and Tabbak in nearby Buguey town Saturday.
It claimed that it was able to confiscate five buckshots, three .38 cal revolvers and one carbine from the officials.
‘Hindrance to development’
Police regional director Chief Superintendent Robert Quenery denounced the series of raids perpetrated by the communist guerrilla.
Quenery said that the violent activities of the NPA in the said towns “continuously hinder the development in the area” and “is in contrary to what they are trying to portray as the defender of the poor.”
“We denounce these atrocities perpetrated by the NPA for hampering development and growth in the region. The threats and intimidation of the NPA to our barangay officials who are performing peace keeping operations had adverse effect to the development of the community,” Quenery said.
Quenery said a hot pursuit operation was launched in coordination with the 17th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Northernforum.net