Suspected New People’s Army rebels raided and bombed again another transloading station of the Lopez Sugar Corp.-this time in Sitio Santa Ana, Brgy. Mabini, Escalante City, Negros Occidental.
Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, said yesterday that the suspects, who introduced themselves as members of the New People’s Army, placed Improvised Explosive Devices or homemade bombs, in two cranes and the core sampler laboratory.
Lirazan said the explosions damaged a crane and the core sampler laboratory, which is used to determine the quality of the sugarcane. The other IED that was placed in another crane, however, did not explode.
On March 16, 2008, the NPA also burned and destroyed the transloading stations of Lopez Sugar Central and Victorias Milling Company in Brgy. San Jose, Toboso, police records show.
Lirazan said the damage has not been determined yet, although the core sampler laboratory is valued at P10 million. Each crane also costs P5 million.
Also damaged were a platform weighing scale, gas pump and one Fuzo hauler truck, that had been peppered with bullets by the fleeing NPA rebels.
Lirazan said the rebels also disarmed the security guard of his 12-gauge shotgun with 20 rounds of ammunition, and also took two ICOM radio handsets.
However, the armed suspects did not harm the security guard, a watchman, a mechanic and his family, who reside within the vicinity of the transloading station, he added.
They told the civilians, who were herded to one place, that they are only after the sugar milling properties and a certain Ballesteros, Lirazan also said.
The unexploded IED was recovered by the police.
The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division yesterday condemned the latest NPA atrocities, saying “This is a gross violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law by the CPP-NPA, of which the communist group is a signatory”.
Major General Aurelio Baladad, 3ID commander, said the CPP-NPA leadership that has direct knowledge (of the incident) continues to tolerate such acts.
Baladad said information they have gathered showed that the bombing of the transloading station is part of the NPA punitive action against the sugar milling company, to (make them) give in to their extortion demands.*
Last year, the NPA also raided the Philex Mining Corp. compound in Brgy. Camindangan, Sipalay City, burned its drilling machine, employees’ bunk houses, and a generator set, military records showed.*GPB
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