SUMIFRU'S P6-million packing plant was torched by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) last Monday, October 2, in Barangay Laconon, T'boli, South Cotabato.
Captain Jerry Lamosao, Division Public Affairs Office chief of the 10th Infantry Division, said the rebels who perpetrated the burning around 10:30 p.m. belong to the Guerilla Front 73.
The rebels initially disguised themselves as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by wearing military uniforms and deceived the three security guards on duty.
The rebels then disarmed the guards and confiscated their security equipment including one shotgun, one nine millimeter pistol and one handheld radio.
The rebels poured gasoline and burned the Sumifru facilities including two water tankers, in which, based on the initial investigation conducted by the Bureau of Fire Protection cost P6 million.
Colonel Roberto Ancan, Commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, condemned the recent attack and atrocities launched by the rebels against a civilian property.
"We condemn such terroristic acts of the New People’s Army, attacking the civilians and their properties. This is a clear manifestation that the rebels are using labor and environmental issues in guise of their extortion scheme," Ancan said.
"We can't condone such acts for we value the security of the people of T'boli, and we will intensify our efforts to thwart the threat being posed by the NPA rebels," Ancan added.
Authorities are conducting hot pursuit operations to apprehend the perpetrators.
On April 29, the NPA burned the Lorenzo family-owned Lapanday Foods Corp. (LFC) box and plastic manufacturing plant in Barangay Mandug, Davao City with more than P1 billion estimated damage. The incident resulted to the displacement of some 100 employees.
LFC announced that they decided not to revive or continue the operation of the plant because it would require them P2 billion to reconstruct the facilities, including the procurement of equipment.