Arson cases filed against 5 rebels

POLICE authorities are set to file charges of destructive arson and robbery with intimidation against five armed men who torched three dump trucks in Balingasag town, Misamis Oriental last April 27.

Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Director Graciano Mejares said Tuesday they could not yet reveal the identities of the suspects as investigation continues.

Senior Inspector Edwin Ipan, station commander of Balingasag Police Office, said however that members of the New People’s Army (NPA) under the Iking Balacuit command have claimed responsibility for the incident.

The five armed men burned the three dump trucks around 7 p.m. of April 27 inside a bunkhouse in Barangay Mandangoa, Balingasag town. No one was reported injured in the incident.

“They did not take anything but the fact that they’re asking something from the owner with threats, it falls under robbery with intimidation,” Ipan said.

He said they have already coordinated with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to help in the investigation.

Ipan said charges against the suspects will be filed anytime this week.

Engr. Roberto Abogado, owner of the three dump trucks and husband of Balingasag Mayor Mariett Roa-Abogado, confirmed to police that a week before the incident, he received an “extortion letter.”

Police initially suspected communist rebels as the ones responsible for the attack.

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