Monday, April 15, 2013

NPAs attack pearl farm in northern Palawan

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 15): NPAs attack pearl farm in northern Palawan

Police and Marines in Palawan are now on hot pursuit against alleged New People’s Army (NPA) fighters, who attacked a pearl farm on Flower Island, Cagdanao, Taytay at noon Monday, and shortly held hostage six employees.

Palawan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) chief Senior Supt. Atanacio Macalan Jr. confirmed their troops and the men from the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) 4 were chasing after a group of armed NPA members that attacked a pearl farm at around 12:45 p.m.

The farm is reportedly being managed for Jewelmer International by a certain Jacques Branellec, a foreign resident.

The provincial police chief was unable to name the six hostages, three boat operators, and three security guards.

The armed men have allegedly fled the pearl farm in different directions since the pursuit operations were launched in Taytay. A chopper by Task Force Linapacan is currently being used for the chase.

As of this writing, the PPPO said the hostages have been returned to the island and being investigated. There are no reports if armed men carted away valuable items from the pearl farm.

From standard security alert, Macalan, as provincial police director, has now ordered the whole province of Palawan to be on “full alert” against the NPAs.

“We have not observed any group capable of doing this kind of attack except the NPAs, so these men are really members of the Leftist movement. I have ordered our policemen in Taytay, and all over Palawan to be on full alert after this incident,” Macalan told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Macalan made an appeal to the residents of Taytay to help stop NPA attacks by reporting any sighting.

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