Army detachment to be set up near plantation

KORONADAL — The Army will set up a detachment near the plantation of fruit giant Sumitomo Fruits Corp. (Sumifru) in South Cotabato after communist rebels attacked its packing plant at the weekend killing a security guard. Lt. Col. Alexis Noel C. Bravo, commanding officer of the 27th Infantry Battalion told media that the detachment will be a deterrent against further rebel attacks. Six armed men attacked the packing plant of the company in Sitio Lacag on Saturday, killing security guard Lyndon Pasilan and wounding his lady companion who was taken to the town clinic for treatment. The guard’s 12-gauge shotgun was taken by the rebels. The incident was the second attack against the company this year. On Oct. 20, more than 20 members of New People’s Army (NPA) torched equipment and ransacked the company’s arsenal in its main compound in Kapatagan Village, Compostela Valley in the Davao Region. There were no reported casualties but the incident caused fear among company employees and nearby villages. Sumifru, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., has more than 30,000 employees involved in the production, distribution and marketing of fresh fruits specifically bananas, pineapples and papayas. It exports its products to Japan, Europe and the United States. Sumifru maintains about 2,000 hectares of banana plantation in T’boli town.

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