DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio condemned the recent acts of terrorism of the New People's Army (NPA) that could temporarily stall construction of roads in Barangay Callawa in Buhangin, Barangay Fatima in Paquibato, and Barangay Dalagdag in Calinan.

Duterte-Carpio, in a statement issued Monday, April 2, said the City Government condemns the burning of 10 heavy equipment by the NPA in the three villages on Saturday, March 31.

As reported, suspected rebels burned four dump trucks and one backhoe owned by the Leonard Trucking Services in Purok 4, Sitio Saudan and Purok 14, Sitio Quarry in Barangay Callawa, Buhangin District; one bulldozer and a backhoe in Sitio Sta. Maria in Barangay Fatima, Paquibato District, and one backhoe in Purok 8, Barangay Dalagdag in Calinan District, all in the hinterland areas of Davao City.

Duterte-Carpio said the road projects are being done by the City Government and the National Government to end the condition of chronic poverty in these areas.

"The road projects could make the delivery of other basic services to the people faster -- including health, education, agricultural development and livelihood. The said projects could change the lives of the people for the better," she said.

She described the attacks as "downright cowardly" and indicates that NPA is nothing but a terrorist group that deserves collective rejection and condemnation.

"The NPA's revolution is one designed to undermine our democracy and development through its brand of egregious violence and extremism," Duterte-Carpio said.

She added that the fresh atrocities revealed that the terrorist group intends for people to continue living in poverty, which they could use as a capital in their propaganda against the government and to justify their presence in the communities where their influence and significance are waning.

She also said that it is also worth noting that the group's recent attacks were also carried out as a retaliatory action to the refusal of the construction companies involved in the projects to give in to the pressure of extortion by the NPAs.

"The military and the police have already been tasked to conduct appropriate actions regarding this," she said.

Duterte-Carpio also reiterated her appeal to condemn the terrorist group.

"Let me reiterate my previous appeal to the people of Davao and to our partners in the peace and development movement -- let us support our soldiers and police and let us openly condemn NPA as a terrorist group," she said.

Meanwhile, aside from the city mayor, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza also aired his condemnation on the recent attacks.

"We condemn in the strongest way the senseless destruction of heavy equipment in Davao City over the last few days by suspected armed elements of the New People's Army," Dureza said in a Facebook post.

"The fact that the three consecutive attacks happened during the observance of Holy Week all the more angers us," he added.

Dureza said these attacks unnecessarily squanders whatever gains they are quietly getting lately in their common efforts with the Communist Party of the Philippines/NPA/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) leadership just to achieve peace through the negotiations table.

"As we have been emphasizing, the presence of an enabling environment will be the sole determining factor for the resumption of peace talks. We are therefore saddened by the consequent setback these attacks bring to our efforts," he added.

"The incident will not only cause delay to the project that will benefit the people but will also adversely affect the livelihood of the people employed to operate these pieces of equipment," Eastmincom commander Lieutenant General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. said in a statement.

Major Ezra Balagtey, public information officer of Eastmincom, said Madrigal had already ordered the 10th Infantry Division (ID) to hunt down the perpetrators and apprehend them.

"He directed all units under Eastern Mindanao Command to ensure the safety and prevent the delay of government flagship projects in the Command's area of responsibility as a consequence of terroristic activities of the NPA terrorists," Balagtey said.