Army: Solar farm damaged by rebels

A PORTION of the Helios Solar Energy Corp. plant in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental was damaged by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who fired at the facility late Thursday evening.

An estimated 40 to 60 solar panels worth about P1.5 million were downed at the 132.5-megawatt solar farm, considered Southeast Asia’s biggest, situated in Barangay Tinampa-an.

Lieutenant Colonel Darrell Bañez, commander of 62nd Infantry Battalion of Philippine Army, said on Friday that about 10 armed men were sighted outside the plant’s perimeter fence around 10:30 p.m.

Armed with high-powered long firearms, the assailants fired at the solar farm. No one was hurt.

The rebels tried to enter the plant, but couldn’t due to the durable perimeter fence, Bañez said.

The gunfire lasted for about five minutes, he added.

A total of 109 live ammunition used for M-16 rifles were recovered by authorities.

Bañez said rebels tried to extort money from the company since last year but the latter failed to respond to their request that probably triggered them to commit the attack.

He added that they have talked with the management and the police about security measures in the area.

Bañez said they see no threats after the incident, but still advised the company to be on alert.
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