By Francis Wakefield
The commander of the Army’s 202nd Brigade Wednesday condemned the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) for attacking a construction site in Quezon on Monday.
Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos made the remark after communist rebels attacked workers of the Pacific Summit Construction Group Inc (PSCGI) in Sitio Pandarawan, Barangay Maragondon, Real town.
Burgos said the workers who were sleeping were rounded up by about 10 insurgents at around 11:30 p.m. Then the rebels burned the heavy equipment at the site.
According to one of the construction workers present during the incident, they were asleep when the armed men arrived and at gunpoint ordered them to drop to the ground.
“The NPAs are desperate. They are hard up in complying with their leader’s order to go on offensive. They can only do that to civilians, threaten and hurt them. Their desire is to frighten the people and hopefully, forced contractors to pay extortion money to them,” Burgos said.
Lt. Col. Melencio Ragudo, head of the 80th IB, said troops together with the local police were pursuing the rebel group.
Major General Rhoderick M Parayno, the Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division based in Tanay, Rizal, said that the communists are pure terrorists.
“In this case, they have looted civilians who have nothing to do with their cause. They have hurt them, and they have burned construction equipment and homes of civilians. They have no respect to International Humanitarian Law,” Parayno said.
According to the project manager, two to three dump trucks, two backhoes, one generator sets, one transit mixer, one loader, one L300 Van, and one unserviceable Strada pick-up used for mini dam construction were burned.
Checkpoints were set up in the area.
Meanwhile, troops of the 1st Infantry Battalion under 202nd Infantry Brigade discovered an NPA arms cache of two rifles, one M653 and one Bushmaster in Barangay Bacao, Taysan, Batangas on Tuesday.
Recent NPA surrenderers revealed the location of the cache.