From the Philippine Star (Dec 8): Gunmen burn P20-M road-building equipment in South Cotabato
Gunmen set on fire late Monday some P20 million worth of road-building equipment of a firm involved in a road project in South Cotabato’s hinterland Lake Sebu municipality.
The heavily-armed arsonists, some of them wearing ski masks, arrived past 8:00 p.m. Monday at the makeshift equipment depot of the Gemma Construction Company in Barangay Lamfungon west of Lake Sebu, herded workers at one area and burned a bulldozer and two excavator backhoes using kerosene and dry coconut palms.
Mayor Antonio Fungan, chair of the Lake Sebu municipal peace and order council, had told reporters the construction outfit is building a road designed to interconnect peasant enclaves in Barangay Lamfungon.
Barangay Lamfungan is adjacent to mountain ranges where New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas are holding out.
The mayor said local police probers are yet to establish the identities of the gunmen behind the arson attack.
The NPAs in South Cotabato are known for their propensity in sabotaging government infrastructure projects and burning of costly equipment of construction companies if “protection money” is not paid on their behest.