By Mike U. Crismundo
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) attacked two companies in Bukidnon on Sunday, according to Capt. Joe Patrick A. Martinez, spokesperson of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4thInfantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) yesterday said.
Martinez said there was no one harmed in the two attacks, and disclosed that troops from the 403rd Infantry Brigade were already hunting down the perpetrators.
At around 5:40 p.m. Sunday, 15 fully-armed NPAs entered the compound of the proposed site for the 10.6- megawatt Pulanai Hydroelectric Power Plant in Zone 11, Hangaron, Barangay Lumbayao, an outskirt community of Valencia City.
The NPAs confiscated the cellphones of the workers and ordered them to leave the compound, Martinez said.
According to the witnesses, the NPAs fired several shots after laying some Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) inside the compound, the 4th ID spokesperson said.
Col. Antonio Bautista Jr., commanding officer of the Eighth Infantry Battallion (8thIB) immediately sent troops, including a team from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) to go after the armed group and to disarm the IED.
Also on Sunday, at around 10 p.m., another NPA group burned down two spray trucks owned by DavcoAgri Venture Corporation (DAVCO) in Barangay Merangiran, Quezon, also in Bukidnon province, Martinez said.
Quoting the initial report from the PNP Bukidnon, the 4th ID spokesperson said, the company’s refusal to give-in to NPA extortion demand was the reason behind the incident.
It can be recalled that on Dec 10, 2016, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte graced the groundbreaking ceremony of the Pulanai plant.
He even mentioned in his speech that he was going to ask the NPA to spare the project from attacks as the Pulanai plant, owned and operated by Repower Energy Development Corp., is one of the power-generation facilities that is envisioned to boost the economic activity in that area for it will cater the electric requirements for the people of Mindanao and will generate employment for the people in that area.