ALLEGED New People’s Army (NPA) rebels burned down several vehicles near an oil palm plantation in Sitio Aurora, Barangay Sto. Niño, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.
Major Frankjo Boral, civil-military operations officer of the 1st Special Forces Battalion, at 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, said three communist fighters fired at some civilian volunteers and tried to abduct them.
Police said a concerned citizen tipped the authorities of the presence of heavily armed men, prompting the police and military troops to respond.
No one was hurt in the firefight.
Police recovered several fired cartridges of cal.45, AK-47, M-16 assault rifles at the crime scene, including two L300 vans, one Izusu Elf truck, one Toyota Hilux pick-up truck, two motorcycles intentionally burned down by the retreating NPAs. The said vehicles were supposed to be used in the NPA attack.
Authorities are still locating the owners of the vehicles, which Boral said, are believed to be carnapped or rented.
Boral added that the real target of the attack is the Manolo Fortich Police Station to “show force amid the influx of surenderers.”
He said they are looking at two NPA sub-regional committees combined to execute the harassment.
Police said the NPA is planning to launch an attack and harass private farms and vulnerable government installation in the area in connection with their extortion activity.
“It’s a scare and extort tactics,” Lieutenant Colonel Surki Serenas, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao, said.
Investigators are now tracing the records of the vehicles while the military troops are conducting pursuit and clearing operation.