Rebels torch rubber processing plant, kill manager-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Monday, September 2, 2013
A GROUP of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels burned down Sunday night a rubber processing plant and killed a company executive in an attack in North Cotabato, a military official said Monday.
Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) information officer Captain Alberto Caber said the burning of the Standard Rubber Development Corporation (SRDC) processing plant in Barangay Taluntalunan, Makilala, North Cotabato has economically displaced 600 workers.
Investigation showed the NPA rebels barged into the SRDC compound and poured gasoline on the buildings and set them on fire, Caber said.
He said the SRDC plant manager, whose identity was not revealed, was killed when he tripped on an improvised bomb fashioned as a landmine while approaching the burning processing plant.
Caber said the rebels ignored the pleas of the workers not to burn down the plant since it’s their source of livelihood.
“The NPAs have no concern over us workers. Their attack took away our source of income,” Caber said, quoting a worker, who asked not to be identified, as saying.
The SRDC, which is owned by Butch Pacheco, is one of the largest and exporter of natural rubber in the country.
Eastmincom Chief Lieutenant General Ricardo Rainier Cruz III has ordered his troops to intensify security operations to prevent similar incidents from happening to protect the local industry.
Caber said that troops of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion headed by Lieutenant Colonel Noel Dela Cruz have launched pursuit operations against the NPA attackers.