..SIX backhoes were allegedly burned by more or less 10 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels under Guerilla Front 4B in Barangay Kagumahan, Kinoguitan in Misamis Oriental Sunday evening.
The burned equipment were reportedly owned by Golden Horn Company, which was hired by Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) to construct fishbone ditches as part of land preparation of DMPI Misamis Oriental-Bukidnon’s expansion in the area.
The equipment was allegedly burned because both Golden Horn and DMPI refused to pay the so-called revolutionary taxes the NPAs are imposing.
The management of Golden Horn is still determining the cost of the damage on the equipment with the help of the local police.
Troops belonging to the 58th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army under Lieutenant Colonel George Banzon are now reportedly pursuing the suspects.
The 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army together with the Philippine National Police is still conducting further investigation on the incident.
“These NPAs are really making the people suffer by robbing their source of income through this kind of atrocity. They also do this to hinder the development efforts of the government. While local government units have been doing everything for the development of Misamis Oriental to entice investors to invest in the province and push development and provide employment to the people, the NPAs done nothing but to sabotage the development of the province,” said Major General Victor A. Felix, 4ID commander.
Colonel James V. Jacob, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, said the NPAs really don’t have any sympathy to the families of the affected workers who suffered hunger because of what they are doing.
“Your army will never seize to bring these arsonists and extortionists to the bar of justice,” Jacob said.
In July, alleged NPA rebels also burned the equipment of PTFI Wood Processing Company while another three trailer trucks were also burned down in June allegedly for the failure of the owners to pay revolutionary taxes.