FOUR suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) torched a tractor at Hacienda Conchita in Barangay Sag-ang, La Castellana, Negros Occidental, on February 26.
Chief Inspector Irma Teoxon, town police chief, said a portion of the tractor was burned, leaving an estimated P20,000 worth of damage.
Teoxon, however, said they could not confirm yet if the incident was indeed perpetrated by rebels, as they are also looking into a possibility that it could be work-related.
Investigation showed unidentified Cebuano-speaking men flagged down the tractor driven by Manuel Jamandre Jr., 60, of Barangay Robles, in the middle of a sugarcane plantation around 3:45 p.m.
The suspects told Jamandre, “Naog! Wala ka di ya sala. Amo nyo na di ya ang may sala. Wala sa gahatag sa amon. NPA ni!” (Step down. This not your fault, but you’re boss’s who does not give us support. We are NPA.)
Teoxon said the perpetrators ordered the driver to open the fuel tank.
One of the armed men poured gasoline on the driver’s seat, and set it on fire.
The perpetrators, armed with .45 caliber pistols and a KG9, fired twice, and threw a grenade near the tractor. They fled toward the mountainous area.
The driver was unharmed and immediately sought help from the authorities.
Teoxon said tractor owner Jorge Vargas has not received solicitation from the rebels and had no threats.
However, she said Vargas cited a previous incident when a portion of his sugarcane plantation was also burned believed to be perpetrated by the same group.