Saturday, August 8, 2015

Two banana plantation workers hurt in NPA attack in North Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 8): Two banana plantation workers hurt in NPA attack in North Cotabato

Police and military have launched manhunt against suspected New Peoples Army (NPA) in North Cotabato believed to be responsible in the attack on a bunk house of banana plantation workers in a remote village of Kidapawan City Friday night.

A report received by the 6th Infantry Division, which is based here, said two banana plantation laborers were seriously wounded when gunmen strafed a makeshift in Barangay Kalasuyan at past midnight.

Capt. Joan Petinglay, speaking for the 6th ID, said a report from the 57th Infantry Battalion showed the victims were identified as Ryman Monteverde Polines, 20, of Purok-7, Barangay Lumbay in Tulunan town and John Rommel Arena Sasi, 24, of Barangay Malibatuan in Arakan, both in North Cotabato.

The victims were past asleep when the suspects, armed with assault rifles strafed the house. After the shooting the suspects fled aboard motorbikes.

Barangay Kalasuyan chairman Fernando Ajero told reporters that responding village watchmen rushed the victims to the hospital. They both sustained multiple gunshot wounds in various parts of the body.

Residents nearby reported that after the victims were rushed to the hospital, the attackers returned and set the house on fire.

The hut is owned by banana plantation owner Pabling Omega who reside in Antipas, North Cotabato but also owns a plantation in Kidapawan City.

Police said the banana plantation operators had been receiving extortion demand from the communist rebels asking for "protection money."

The owner rejected the demand.

Elements of the 57th IB are helping the local police locate the suspects who also reside in the Kidapawan City.

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