From the Mindanao Gold Star Daily (Jan 22): Rebels attack in Caraga, Normin
THE New People’s Army (NPA) started flexing its muscles by staging a raid on a banana plantation and attacking soldiers in Caraga and northern Mindanao since last weekend. The attacks came days after the lifting of the cease-fire declarations of the NPA and the government made during yuletide.
Heavily armed NPA rebels raided the banana plantation of Dole Philippines in Barangay Anahaw Daan Tago, Surigao del Sur, on Friday night. The military said the rebels destroyed some eight hectares of fully grown banana plants. 1Lt. Samuel Maglinao of the 29th Infantry Battalion said the rebels also fired at and destroyed four backhoes and a bulldozer.
Lt. Col. Virgulio Luna, the battalion’s commander, said the rebels ran off when troops came.
Luna said he suspected the raid was due to Dole’s refusal to pay a “revolutionary tax” allegedly being imposed by the NPA.
Rebels also attacked in a village, ransacking houses owned by a soldier and a former serviceman and an ex-police officer in Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental, yesterday morning. Town police chief, Senior Insp. Cecilio Bato-bato, said at least 30 NPA rebels barged into the houses of army Private BenjaminTimbal of the 58th Infantry Battalion and retired sergeant Eliseo Salvacion and retired SPO4 Ananias Requerme at around 6:30 am, in Purok 4, Poblacion, Kinoguitan town.
He said rebels seized a caliber .45 pistol owned by Timbal and his army uniform. Bato-bato said rebels also stole from Salvacion’s and Requerme’s houses. But Lt. Col. Eugene Julio Osias IV, Camp Evangelista’s spokesperson, said the rebels also seized combat boots and other military items.
Osias said rebels set up checkpoints before raiding the houses which are near the town hall.
“No one was hurt,” he said. Osias said operating a team from the 58th Infantry Battalion led by 2Lt. Jeomar Zulueta quickly conducted clearing operations and was out to get the rebels. He also said the town police and military have also established defensive positions especially at the town hall. Another group of soldiers from Salay was fielded to help in the military offensive.
In Bukidnon, rebels and soldiers from the 8th Infantry Battalion exchanged firepower in Barangay Nala in the town of San Fernando at around 5:20 am yesterday. Lt. Co. Jose Maria Cuerpo II said the soldiers were patroling in the village after residents informed them about rebels in the area. There was no casualty report. Cuerpo said the rebels fled and left behind a rifle and bullets. “We are determining if the rebels suffered casualties,” he said.