3 heavy equipment burn, 3 cops hurt in NPA attacks PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 August 2014 13:44

Army and police beefed up their forces in eastern Mindanao after guerrillas of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the communist movement, resumed its offensive wounding three policemen and burning three heavy equipment in separate attacks in the province of South Cotabato early Friday morning.

South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes said some 30 communist guerrillas commandeered a utility van and stormed a quarry site along the Topland River in Koronadal City around 4 a.m. Friday and burned three heavy equipment belonging to construction company.

Fuentes said the three heavy equipment were totally burned.

The attackers attempted to burn two other equipment owned by a quarry operator but failed to inflict any significant damage, she said.

Thirty minutes later, Fuentes said, two suspected rebels aboard a motorcycle lobbed a grenade at the outpost of the South Cotabato Police Public Safety Company (PPSC) located at a village in Tampakan town , injuring three policemen

“These attacks were clearly coordinated and the circumstances showed that they were the handiwork of the NPA,” the governor said in a radio interview.

Dads Bacalso, operations head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said the rebels came to the area aboard two utility vans.

She said 10 of the attackers initially held at gunpoint the caretaker of a quarry site operated by the construction firm of Engr. Fernando Bascon and proceeded to pour gasoline and burn the three heavy equipment that comprised a grader, loader and crusher.

The caretaker was quoted to have said the rebels were clad in Army fatigues, “in full battle gear”.

Bacalso said the rebels then turned to two other loaders owned by quarry operator Engr. Edwin Bonilla and tried to burn them but reportedly ran out of gasoline.

She said the armed men then hastily left the area aboard the utility vans, one of which was later found abandoned at a nearby village.

Bacalso estimated damage is P8 million.

She said they were also checking reports that the area’s quarry operators had received threats from an undisclosed armed group prior to the attack.

Sr. Insp. Joel Fuerte, deputy police chief of the Tampakan municipal police station, said pursuit operations were launched against the NPA rebels who attacked the police outpost.

“It was plain harassment and clearly meant to sow fear among local residents and those assigned at the detachment,” Fuerte said. — MN