CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines — Communist rebels confirmed destroying heavy equipment and seizing 22 firearms from a pineapple plantation in Bukidnon province, an attack the military described as a violation of a human rights agreement between the government and insurgents.
The attack on Davao Ventures Corp. in Barangay Merangeran, Quezon town on Sunday, October 8, was the third on the firm “as a constant reminder for them not to aggressively expand in agricultural areas where staple food crops such as rice and corn are cultivated,” the New People’s Army-North Central Mindanao Region said in a statement.
The guerrillas of the NPA’s South Central Bukidnon-Subregional Command destroyed a boom spray, a tractor, a water tanker, two backhoes, a chemical mixer, and “razed a supply depot where toxic chemicals are stored,” and also seized 12 M16 rifles, an M14 rifle, a sniper rifle, four shotguns, three .45 caliber pistols, a 9mm, ammunition and communications equipment in the 40-minute operation, Ka Malem Mabini, NPA-NCMR spokesperson, said.
The Bukidnon attack came a week after rebels torched facilities at a banana plantation in South Cotabato province.
Fighters of the “Neptune Unit of the Mt. Musa Subregional Operations Command” burned a container van, two tankers, a packing plant and a warehouse, and seized two pistols and two shotguns in the October 2 attack on Sumifru Corporation in Sitio Lakag, Barangay New Dumangas, T’boli town.
Reacting to the Bukidnon attack, the Army’s 4th Infantry Division called it a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
“The incident is another violation of CARHRIHL when the NPA deliberately and dastardly attacked civilians and their properties. This is their (NPA) way of compelling companies and other small business entities to give in to their extortion demands,” Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, 4ID spokesman, said.
Col. Eric Vinoya, commanding officer of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade, also condemned the rebels for killings Romeo Bantilan Jr., a councilman of Barangay White Kulaman, Kitaotao town, the same day as the attack on Davco.