By Francis Wakefield
The military disclosed Friday that armed men, believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA), raided a plantation area on Thursday and destroyed farm equipment in Barangay San Nicolas, Don Carlos town in Bukidnon.
A military report said armed men arrived at the plantation, owned by the Davao Agriculture Ventures Company, Inc. (DAVCO) at around 8 p.m., telling workers that they were NPA members.
They proceeded to pour gasoline on a pineapple harvesting equipment before setting it on fire.
Terrified, the workers ran for their lives.
DAVCO authorities sought assistance from the Don Carlos Municipal Police Station which immediately responded.
Initial interviews by a joint team from Don Carlos PNP and the Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion revealed that the security guard on duty was robbed of his cellular phone. According to him, the perpetrators identified themselves as members of the NPA.
A small backhoe was also burned by the raiders, who reportedly fled towards Purok 10, Don Carlos road connected to Sitio Buklata, Brgy Camp1, Maramag, Bukidnon.
Col Edgardo De Leon, commander of the 403rd Brigade in Bukidnon, said that an investigation was ongoing regarding the incident.
“Since this is an attack against civilian properties, we will be submitting a report to CHR10 and request them to investigate if the actions of the NPAs violate IHL and Republic Act 9851. CHR10 is the subject-matter expert on IHL so we would be relying on their fact-finding investigation,” he said.