THE ongoing investigation over the torching of three backhoes worth about P16 million in Hda Buenos Aires, Barangay Consing, EB Magalona on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, has been handed over to the EB Magalona Police Station.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Petate, Silay City police chief, said they handed the investigation to EB Magalona police because the area where the incident occurred was already part of Barangay Consing.
Petate said they were initially the ones who responded to the area after receiving a report that the New People's Army (NPA) attacked the area. They thought the area was still part of Barangay E. Lopez and are the nearest units available.
He further added they were accompanied by members of the 1st Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company. When they arrived, the backhoes were already completely gutted.
Petate also said they have strong evidence that the NPA was involved in the arson, as there were clear indications of its presence at the time, such as the recovery of placards and an NPA flag.
He added it will be up to the EB Magalona police to confirm if it was the NPA who made the attack or other criminal elements.
On Tuesday, a resident in the area called the police around 5 a.m. when he saw three backhoes on fire at Hacienda Vista Alegre.
Among the heavy equipment included a Caterpillar 520 backhoe worth P7.2 million; a Liugong backhoe worth P4.2 million and owned by a certain Ryan Villan; and another Liugong backhoe worth P5.2 million owned by Lantad barangay captain Arnie Benedicto.
Villan also reported to the police that the insurgents placed an NPA checkpoint on the road connecting to the hacienda.