From Malaya Business Insight (Jul 17): NPAs burn road firm’s equipment
NEW People’s Army rebels burned five heavy equipment of a construction firm in Lopez town in Quezon on Saturday night, reportedly for its refusal to heed the extortion demands of the insurgents.
Capt. Melchor Durante, spokesman of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said about 10 rebels swooped down at the temporary area of the RTY Construction Company at Barangay Tan-ag Ibaba around 9:30 p.m.
Durante said the rebels set on fire three elf trucks, a payloader and a mixer which he said have an estimated value of P5 million. No one was reported killed or injured in the incident, said Durante.
Durante said the rebels told the workers of the company, who were in the area at that time, that they burned the equipment because their employers were not paying revolutionary tax, a euphemism for extortion.
“Soldiers saw the foreman shaking when they arrived because of what has happened ....The arson was over in less than 10 minutes...We have deployed our forces and pursuit operations are ongoing,” said Durante.
“The NPAs have been repeatedly forcing the company to pay their extortion demands,” said Durate, without giving figures. He said the company is involved in an ongoing road expansion project in Lopez town.
In Davao Oriental, government troops recovered assorted war materiel from NPA rebels following a firefight in Lupon town on Saturday afternoon, said Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, commander of the Army’s 28th Infantry Battalion.
Zagala said his men were on a combat operation when they clashed with about 40 rebels in Sitio Kirantik in Barangay Marayag around 3:45 p.m. He said the rebels fled after a 20-minute firefight.
Soldiers recovered at the scene an M14 rifle, an improvised explosive device, five magazines for M14 and AK47 rifle, 50 blasting caps, a rifle grenade, a 150-meter wire, personal belongings, medical paraphernalia and rebel documents of intelligence value.
“Troops acted on information received from the community that the NPA were massing up in the hinterlands of Marayag to conduct atrocities against government forces,” Zagala said.
“The encounter is a manifestation of the community support to the AFP in order to build resilient communities free from the destructive influence of the NPA,” Zagala also said.