Thursday July 19, 2018

NPAs attack Lapanday facilities; mayor says it is terror act

DAVAO CITY (Updated) -- Members of the communist New People's Army (NPA) attacked several facilities of Davao-based Lapanday Foods Corporation, injuring a civilian and taking away several firearms from security guards early dawn Saturday, April 29.

"The 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion NPA-SMR victoriously launched three simultaneous tactical offensives in Davao City against the Lorenzo-owned companies and ranch starting at around 2 a.m. today," the NPA-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez said in a statement.

Sanchez said they disarmed security guards at Lapanday's two box plants in Barangay Mandug before setting on fire several equipment.

The Macondray Plastic Plant in Barangay Bunawan was also attacked and security guards were disarmed, while three high-powered firearms were seized from the Lorenzo Ranch in Barangay Pangyan, Calinan.

“They seized several pistols. Naa tay usa ka civilian na wounded,” said Task Force Davao Commander Colonel Erwin Bernard Neri in a phone interview with SunStar Davao.

Rebels said the NPA attack "served as punitive action against the Lorenzos for their numerous crimes against agricultural workers, peasants and Lumad."

The attack was carried out while the Philippines is hosting the 30th Asean Summit in Manila.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the attacks perpetrated by the NPA today in Davao City are acts of terrorism.

“I take what happened today as a personal insult especially because the local government of Davao City has been supportive of the peace negotiations between the national government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political umbrella that covers the armed guerrilla movement. And because I have repeatedly offered to talk peace with the members of the NPA within Davao City,” Duterte-Carpio said in a press statement.

"We condemn these acts committed by a group that pretends to champion social justice and equality. With its history of carrying out atrocities and its continued penchant for lawlessness and bloodbath, the NPA is an organization that is not worthy of our trust and respect," she added.

Duterte-Carpio assured the people of Davao that "our policemen and soldiers are on top of the situation." She ordered police authorities to ensure the safety of civilians.

She also visited wounded victim, Larry Timbal Buenafe, fish vendor from Barangay 76-A, Agdao. Buenafe was passing along Mandug road to sell fish when an improvised explosive device went off. He sustained injuries in the head.

Meanwhile, netizens posted several videos and photos of the attack on Facebook.

Evonnie Chan showed photos of the facilities in Mandug still on fire.

Shangy Cuenza also showed a photo of the early morning fire:

(SunStar Philippines)