SOME suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) allegedly burned five farm tractors and a vehicle amounting to P3 million after a village chief and a businessman rejected their extortion demands in Barangay Sta. Monica in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental Monday night, February 25.
About 50 armed men who identified themselves as NPA reportedly entered Longa Hermosa Hacienda owned by village chief Martin Longa at 7 p.m. and allegedly burned the farm equipment.
The armed group also allegedly confiscated two cellular phones, two handheld radios, and a Wifi modem from the victim. But he was unharmed.
Based on military reports, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA allegedly demanded P500,000 from Longa earlier. But, he rejected them.
Lieutenant Colonel Carlo Ferrer, commander of Task Group Negros Oriental of the 302nd IBde, in a press statement, condemned another terroristic act of the CPP-NPA against a legitimate businessman and barangay captain.
This incident demonstrates again the kind of terror that the CPP-NPA is capable of showing against law-abiding citizens and businessmen in the province of Negros Oriental, Ferrer said.
It is no longer about the ideology that they are fighting for. Their use of popular issues of the masses and the neglected sector of the society is just a facade wherein they manipulate and deceive the people by appearing to be fighting for their cause, he said.
It is already very clear to us now that the CPP-NPA is just a one big extortion syndicate, and thus, instead of helping the people improve their lives, they are the cause of their suffering by disrupting government infrastructure projects, delaying the delivery of basic government services and slowing economic development in the areas that they are terrorizing, he added.
Thus, it is with a conviction that the Task Group Negros Oriental of 302nd IBde will not tolerate this unfortunate incident to continue, he said.
The task group has already tasked 94th Infantry Battalion to conduct pursuit operation at the possible withdrawal area of the perpetrators immediately after the incident.
Checkpoints and combat patrols were already conducted together with the police forces in the area to contain the situation and limit the area of the escape of the said group.
Also, all combat and intelligence units in the area were tasked to intensify their efforts to obtain additional intelligence about the enemy. (GYM)