NPA 'confiscates' firearms during attacks in Davao

THE New People's Army (NPA) claimed its members’ confiscated several firearms on their offensive attack to Davao-Based Lapanday Foods Corporation on Saturday morning, which led to the injury of a civilian.

Merardo Arce Command, Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command (SMROC) NPA spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez, in his statement, confirmed that their comrades were behind the incident.

The rebels disarmed security guards and gutted down the firm’s compound along with its equipment. Seized firearms included 13 shotguns, two caliber .45 pistols, eight caliber .38 pistols, and 9 UHF radio.

He said the attacks were launched to hold the Lorenzo-owned Lapanday accountable for its numerous crimes against their lowly-paid workers and against peasants and Lumads who are now homeless.

Sanchez also confirmed that their members wore a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) uniform when they attacked the box/plastic manufacturing plant of the Lapanday in Barangay Mandug at 2 a.m.

NBI-Davao regional director lawyer Arnold Rosales earlier belied reports of their personnel conducting checkpoint. He also said the bureau has no authority to conduct a checkpoint in its respective area.

Sanchez said their comrades also hit the reinforcement troops of the Task Force (TF) Davao with command detonated explosives near Barangay Tigatto around 5 a.m., while a company-sized NPA unit struck the Macondray Plastic Plant in Bunawan about 2 a.m. and seized two shotguns and two pistols from its security.

A PBB company-sized unit also raided the heavily-guarded Lorenzo’s cattle ranch and banana plantation in Barangay Pangyan in Calinan, past 3 a.m. where the NPA rebels have seized several firearms.

“The Pangyan ranch coddles criminal elements and counter-revolutionary fanatics who are employed by the despotic Lorenzo clan to protect its anti-people business interests,” Sanchez said.

He added that the Pangyan ranch is a place where the Lapanday chief of security retired Major Sergeant Jose Manero was arrested by the late NPA leader Leoncio Pitao, alias Ka Parago on May 11, 2008.

Sanchez claimed that Manero divulged the company’s numerous violations on human rights, including the killing of several banana plantation workers, in its bid to ensure huge profit and expansion of its operations.

He said the NPA’s annihilative and punitive action against the Lorenzos in Davao City serves as a revolutionary justice for landless tillers and exploited workers of its banana plantations and manufacturing plants in the region.

Sanchez said the incident serves as their stern warning against other despotic members of the feudal landlord gentry who continue to wield fascist control to deter genuine land reform and nationalist industrialization in the country.

The Lapanday Foods Corporation, in a statement, condemns the theft of property and the arson of its box and plastic manufacturing plants. It said the incident led to displacement of hundreds of employees and adversely affected those who have existing business with the two plants.
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