BUTUAN CITY: A police and military manhunt operation has been ordered against a band of communist terrorists responsible for burning PHP5-million worth of construction equipment in Surigao City on April 12.
In a statement Tuesday, the Police Regional Office in Caraga (PRO-13) said an undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels torched a backhoe, a concrete mixer truck, and a generator at a construction site in Barangay Mapawa, Surigao City.
“The construction company that owns the equipment is working for the completion of a farm-to-market road (FMR) project in the area,” said Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr., PRO-13 director.
Caramat said the Surigao del Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company (SDNPMFC) and the Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion (29IB) are in pursuit of the perpetrators as of Tuesday morning.
“We eyed extortion behind the attack. The desperate NPA terrorists do not care for the local folks who are supposed to benefit from the road connecting the community to market centers,” he said.
He said the initial investigation indicated that the NPA’s Guerilla Front 16B members were involved, even as he condemned the NPA for destroying civilian properties.
The incident, he said, “ruining the hopes of the ordinary residents, especially the farmers in the area who are expecting the completion” of the farm-to-market road.
“The long arm of the law will capture the enemies of the state and will be held accountable for the commission of crimes and illegal activities they committed,” he said.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.