Suspected communist rebels burned the heavy equipment of a private road contractor in Surigao City on Monday morning, police said.
Brigadier General Romeo Caramat Jr. ,Caraga police chief, said suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels believed to be members of the Guerilla Front 16B of the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee, burned a back hoe, generator set and one cement mixer at the construction site in Barangay Mapawa around 11:40 a.m.
The pieces of heavy equipment and cement mixer, worth P 5 million were owned by construction firm CTB.
Caramat said the CTB was building a farm-to-market road in the area.
The police official alleged that the company refused to pay so-called revolutionary taxes being imposed by the NPA which led to the destruction of the equipment.
Police and soldiers from the Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion were conducting hot pursuit operations against the culprits.
The Caraga police strongly condemned the NPA attack as it “burned the hope of the hapless residents to have accessible road for the delivery of their agricultural products.”
“We eyed extortion behind the attack. The desperate NPA terrorists do not care for the local folks who are supposed to benefit from the road connecting the community to market centers,” Caramat said.
Last February, same rebel group was tagged as responsible for the burning of two heavy equipment at a road construction site in Malimono town, Surigao del Norte. CLC