Suspected New People’s Army rebels burned a backhoe used in the construction of a bridge in Hacienda Igpanalong, Brgy. Robles, La Castellana, Negros Occidental, Thursday night, the police and military said yesterday. The arson incident occurred more than a month after communist rebels also torched three cargo trucks and a tractor in Hacienda San Andres, Brgy. Andres Bonifacio, Cadiz City. Senior Insp. Gary Alan Resuma, La Castellana police chief, yesterday said that on Thursday, about 10 armed men identified themselves as NPA members, and burned the Hitachi HD70 backhoe.
The estimated damage was initially placed at P500,000. The owner of the backhoe, identified as Edward Yee, a contractor of the International Builders Corp., had not received any demand or extortion letter before the incident, Resuma said. Resuma said the armed men, who stayed in the area for about 15 minutes, withdrew after hearing three successive whistles, which apparently was a signal for them to leave.