BUTUAN CITY (PNA) – The Police Regional Office Caraga (PRO-13) condemned the New People’s Army (NPA) Thursday for burning two heavy equipment used for the construction of a vital farm-to-market road (FMR) project in Surigao del Norte.
PRO-13 director Police Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. said the burning took place at around 11 a.m. Wednesday in Barangay Binocaran, Malimono.
The dump truck and a backhoe owned by CV Construction based in Surigao City cost more or less P5.9 million.
“At least seven armed men poured gasoline and torched the dump truck and the backhoe,” Caramat said.He said the suspects are reportedly members of the Guerrilla Front (GF) 16B of the NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).
“The construction of the FMR project in Binocaran is temporarily stalled because of the attack. The NPA showed anew its true color of being a terrorist group and anti-peace and development. They deserve our shared condemnation,” Caramat said.
He added that the FMR is vital for the farmers and fishermen in connecting them to market centers to deliver their produce.
“Most of the common folks in the area will directly benefit from that FMR project considering that their primary source of living is farming and fishing. They thrive by selling agricultural and fisheries products from the barangays to the markets and the consumers,” Caramat said.
He said investigators are beefing up the pieces of evidence for filing of arson charges against the perpetrators.
“We are also eyeing the possibility that the attacks might be a retaliatory action for the refusal of the company to the extortion demanda of the NPA,” Caramat said.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.