Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Army scores rebels for stalling development by burning equipment for road works

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 16): Army scores rebels for stalling development by burning equipment for road works

The Philippine Army in Western Visayas scored the New People’s Army (NPA) for its latest atrocity in southern Negros Occidental.

On Sunday night, about 30 suspected NPA rebels torched the equipment owned by International Builders Corp. (IBC) in Barangay Gil Montilla, Sipalay City.

“The government is working hard on developmental projects that will benefit the people and in return, the NPA destroyed the equipment to stall development,” said Col. Allan Martin, commander of Army’s 302nd Brigade.

Damaged were a grader, a payloader, and a vibratory roller, all worth about Php5 million, at the batching plant of IBC owned by Alfonso Tan of Iloilo City.

Lt. Col. Pompeyo Jason Almagro, commanding Officer of 47th Infantry Battalion, said the IBC is the contractor for the construction and rehabilitation of national road that could boost trade and economic development in Sipalay City.

Martin said the 302nd Brigade has intensified its security operations in the area while tracking the rebels.

“Our soldiers are working closely with the Philippine National Police and we are optimistic that the NPA group behind this atrocity would be cornered soon,” he added.

Chief Insp. Luisito Acebuche, Sipalay city police chief, said the rebels set the construction equipment using gasoline at about 8:30 p.m. while the workers were resting.

The rebels stayed in the area for about five minutes before fleeing towards the mountains, he added.

Acebuche said the security guards told the police that the suspects were carrying high-powered firearms and identified themselves as NPA rebels.

Col. Jon Aying, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the rebels are members of the NPA’s Armando Sumayang Extortion Group.

They ordered their assets to tell the public that around 80 of their members attacked the area when only about 25 to 30 rebels carried out the arson, Aying said.

“They want to project that they are still strong and they still have the number when they only fought against those heavy equipment and the civilians," the Army official said.

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