Extortion eyed in latest NPA attacks

A group of 40 New People’s Army rebels set fire a bulldozer and backhoe owned by PhilSouth Construction in Barangay Bolisong, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental on Thursday night the Philippine National Police (PNP) reports.

No casualties were reported in the incident.

Passengers of a commercial bus who witnessed the incident told police investigators, the armed men shouted “ Mabuhay ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan” while setting the heavy equipment on fire.

Investigators are looking into possible extortion attempt as motive for the arson.

Local officials of Negros Oriental denounced this latest atrocity committed by the NPA as an obstacle to development because it stalled the ongoing roadworks project of a vital farm-to-market road in the province.

“Those behind this crime are resisting entry of development in the countryside that would have ushered government presence and availability of goods and services that will benefit people in the barrios,” PNP Chief, Director General Oscar D Albayalde said.

Meanwhile, Alabayalde has ordered PNP Director for Operations, Police Director Mao Aplasca to alerted all PNP field units to conduct counter-actions against stepped-up tactical offensive activities of the CPP/NPA dubbed “Koda Supermarket” aimed at collecting more firearms and equipment from police and military targets thru raids and ambuscades on soft targets and other targets of opportunity.

This is after a series of attacks staged by the armed rebel group in Lupi, Camarines Sur on Thursday and in Aurora province on Tuesday that killed four police officers.

“We condemn these latest acts of lawless terror by the local communist movement against symbols of government authority. We mourn their loss, but assure the ends of justice will be served,” Albayalde said.

“This is not only an attack on the police, but an assault on a national agency that protects consumer welfare,” he added.

“We condemn these latest acts of lawless terror by the local communist movement against symbols of government authority. We mourn their loss, but assure the ends of justice will be served,” Albayalde said.

“This is not only an attack on the police, but an assault on a national agency that protects consumer welfare,” the Chief PNP said.

The Chief PNP said the increased activity by the CPP/NPA could also be part of its “saber-rattling” tactics to project an image of strength to highlight the forthcoming CPP anniversary in December 26, and to bolster its extortion activities in the forthcoming election season next year.