BUTUAN CITY – An undetermined number of armed men believed to members of the New People’s Amy (NPA) swooped down on a plantation area and set ablaze three dump trucks and a passenger bus in Sitio Talambao, Barangay Bulahan, in Claveria town, Misamis Oriental Tuesday morning.
In a phone interview with The Manila Bulletin Tuesday night, 58th Infantry Battalion (58th IB) Civil Military Operations (CMO) Officer First Lt. Jefferson M. Mariano said the damaged equipment were recyclable dump trucks converted for hauling of seedlings, and a bus used for transporting workers owned by Del Monte Philippines Inc.
The marauders arrived at 9:45 a.m. in the area, and immediately put to torch the equipment for unknown reason.
The alleged rebels immediately withdrew after burning the equipment towards southwest direction, heading for Mat-i Gamay, Barangay San Juan of that same town.
As of press time, government troops were still conducting hot pursuit operations on the fleeing bandits.
The company and local authorities were still assessing the damage of the arson attack.
Meanwhile, the 58th IB joined the local government unit (LGU) of Claveria in strongly condemning the atrocities committed by the NPA, Mariano said.
“The act is not only a clear violation of human rights but also, a definite violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which was signed by President Duterte last July to end the terrorist acts,” the 58thIB CMO officer said.
Meanwhile, Claveria town Mayor Meraluna S. Abrogar also condemned the act of violence perpetrated by the NPAs.
“The burning of properties is a gesture of desperate move to discredit the government. We are saddened by the act of terrorism, but we still continue to fight and protect the peace and public welfare,” the town’s chief executive said
“We strongly believe that we are still the government of the people and for the people,” Abrogar added.