CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels torched Sunday night ﬁve heavy equipment owned by a construction firm contracted by the government to undertake the initial phase of the P19-billion expressway project in Tarlac City, police reported yesterday.
Senior Supt. Alfredo Corpus, Tarlac provincial director, said the armed men, clad in military uniform, arrived at around 11 p.m. Sunday at the construction site of the R.D. Policarpio & Co. Inc. in Barangay San Miguel and set on ﬁre the three backhoes, a crane and a grader.
The said construction firm is undertaking the initial phase of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Toll Expressway (TPLEX) in Tarlac.
Security guard Silvestre told police investigators that the armed men poured gasoline on the equipment and set them on ﬁre.
Silvestre claimed that one of the armed men told him that many of the farmers, who owned the lots that were acquired for the TPLEX project, have not yet been paid.
He added that the armed men ﬁred three successive shots before ﬂeeing toward Barangay Villa Bacolor in this city.
Over in Bayugan City, some 10 heavily armed men believed to be NPA rebels swooped down on a village and burned two hauling trucks Monday morning, police reported yesterday.
Supt. Martin M. Gamba, Police Regional Ofﬁce 13 (PRO 13) spokesperson, said a 10-wheeler cargo truck (RBZ-157) and one Fuso Wing Van truck (RKK-971) were burned after the drivers were forced to get off their vehicles at about 11:30 a.m., Monday, at Purok 3, Barangay Katipunan, Bayugan City.
Gamba said the perpetrators are members of guerilla-Front Committee 8 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Party Committee (NEMRC) under certain “Aka Malic”.
The burned trucks were registered to Rodolfo Saday Bornez, 54, barangay chairman of Anislagan in San lauis town, Agusan del Sur province, according to Gamba. (Mark Anthony N. Manuel & Mike U. Crismundo)