MANILA, Philippines – Suspected communist rebels on Monday burned three trailer trucks carrying copra products in Algeria, Surigao del Norte.
Maj. Eugenio Osias IV, spokesman of the Army’s 4th division, said the trucks were flagged and burned by about eight armed men along the national highway in Barangay Pungtod at 11:10 p.m.
Osias said the cost of the burned trucks and copra products were about P5 million.
“The report came from local residents in the area saying that the perpetrators were members of the New People’s Army,” Osias said in a statement.
Lt. Col. Vincent Iringan, commander of the Army’s 30th battalion, said the armed men had fired successive shots to the air before fleeing.
The armed men reportedly identified themselves as members of the NPA Guerilla Front 16A.
Personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection extinguished the fire and pulled off the trucks towards the shoulder of the road.
The local police and members of the Army’s 30th battalion are now probing the motive behind the incident. Osias said the owner of the burned trucks may be a victim of the insurgents’ extortion activities.
Iringan said his troops are now guarding the possible escape routes of the rebels.