Thursday July 19, 2018

Alleged NPA members torch heavy equipment at quarry site in Negros Oriental

DUMAGUETE CITY -- Around five heavily armed men set on fire two heavy equipment of a private construction firm at a quarry site in Barangay Caticugan in Siaton, Negros Oriental shortly after midnight Saturday, July 29.

Initial police investigation showed that at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, July 30, the unidentified armed men on board three motorcycles arrived at the quarry site at Sitio Pilapil, Barangay Caticugan and torched a Komatsu backhoe and a payloader.

The heavy equipment belonged to Medalla Construction owned by Medalla Yocor Sia, 53, a widow and resident of Barangay Banilad, Dumaguete City.

A witness said the unidentified suspects fired at the windshields of the heavy equipment and shouted in the dialect "okey na, mabuhay ang NPA" and fled the crime scene.

Recovered from the crime scene were 45 pieces of fired cartridges, three pieces of live ammunition for Carbine, nine pieces of fired cartridge of caliber 9mm, two live ammunition of caliber 9mm Luger and one deformed slug of undetermined caliber, and a one-gallon container full of gasoline, the police report said.

No one was reported injured.

Investigators are still trying to determine whether the perpetrators are indeed members of the New People’s Army.

Siaton police head Chief Inspector Varie Villanobos said a joint security force of local police personnel and elements of the Philippine Army, the Regional Public Safety Battalion, the Provincial Public Safety Company and the Special Weapons and Tactics proceeded to the crime scene around 10 a.m. Sunday.

Further investigation is underway as Scene of the Crime Operatives are on their way to the quarry site to process the crime scene, Villalobos added. (Judy Flores Partlow/PNA)