AROUND 70 suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) raided on Sunday afternoon (October 8) an agribusiness firm at Sitio Rang-Ay, Barangay Mirangiran, Quezon, Bukidnon province.
Captain Norman Tagros, 403rd Infantry Brigade civic military operations officer, said the rebels torched the equipment of the agriculture firm, such as boom harvester, two nurse trucks, a generator set, and a boom truck that the rebels used as a getaway vehicle.
The said torched truck was later found in Barangay Lumintao, Quezon.
Tagros said the rebels also stole from the security guards a shot gun and a 9mm pistol.
"Naay firefight na nahitabo kay at first, nisukol man ang guards, pero
nag-withdraw ra gihapon atong guards kay medyo dili makaya kay daghan gyud ang NPA (A firefight happened. The guards fought back but gave up knowing there were many NPA members)," Tagros said.
The guards were however safe, he added.
According to a statement sent to the media, the rebels belonged to the NPA’s South Central Bukidnon-Sub Regional Command was responsible for the attack.
The NPA said their target was the security agency of the Del Monte Philippines Incorporated.
The rebels claimed to have carted away 15 high-powered firearms including 12 M16 rifle, 1 sniper's rifle, 1 M14 rifle, 3 .45 caliber pistols, 1 9mm pistol, and 4 shotguns.
Tagros, meanwhile, decried the incident, pointing out that the rebels violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, to which they are a signatory.
"They did the attack kay gusto nila ma-fuel ilang extortion (because they want to fuel their extortion), kung dili man gane na nila buhaton, walay mohatag ug kwarta sa ila. Naay reports na gapangayo ang NPA sa ila, well tanan man halos na businesses biktima sa ilang extortion activities (If the rebels won’t do it, no one will give them money. There are reports that the NPA are extorting them. Well, almost all of the businesses are victims of the NPA’s extortion activities)," he said.
"We just want to emphasize that what they did is plain hypocrisy, because we all know, they are signatory sa CAHRIHL, just like the government too. So, dili dapat apilon ang civilian sa ilang mga atake, apil ang property, but they continue to do these acts, nakita nato ilang pagka-hipokrito, klaro ang violation sa ilang gipirmahan na agreement (They shouldn’t include civilian in their attacks, including properties, but they continue to do these acts and we see their hypocrisy, a clear violation of an agreement that they signed)," Tagros added.