Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday called on the Philippine Army to double its efforts and maximize visibility operations, in order to stop the New People’s Army from further destroying the properties of individuals and firms in Negros Occidental.
The NPA has stepped up its tactical operations in the last two months against what the military calls “soft targets”, staging raids on a mining firm, farm compounds and a fishpond, destroying millions of pesos worth of properties, and carting away high-powered guns and ammunition, military and police records show.
Col. Oscar Lactao, who met with Marañon before his assumption yesterday of the 303rd Infantry Brigade command, said they will act on his request to arrest those who are behind in the destruction of properties for extortion purposes.
Col. Francisco Patrimonio, newly-desginated commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, also called the rebel raids, ambushes and taxation criminal acts.
Marañon said what the NPA rebels have been doing are counter- productive to the people they supposedly swore to protect.
The NPA’s Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, in a statement issued earlier, said they has initiated 21 coordinated tactical offensives since June 5, which included punishment of destructive foreign mining companies, ambushes, and punishment of military intelligence assets, among others.*GPB