By Mike U. Crismundo
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – At least 15 suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels swooped down on a pineapple plantation of Del Monte Philippine Inc. (DMPI) and set ablaze several pieces of farm machinery in Patpat village, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon province, Captain Norman Tagros, chief of Civil Military Operations (CMO) of the 403rd Infantry Brigade yesterday reported.
The 403rd CMO officer said the NPAs burned down three boom harvesters and one skidder.
The total value of the damaged equipment was still being assessed and validated by the management of the agricultural firm and Malaybalay City Police Station.
The attack happened at 10 p.m. Monday as the rebels descended on the DMPI compound and proceeded to burn the equipment.
Tagros claimed that the burning incident was another form of diversionary tactic of the NPA to divert the attention of the military which is currently conducting military operations in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.
As of press time, troops of the Eighth Infantry Battalion were still conducting pursuit operations to those responsible in the burning of equipments, Tagros said.
Also on Monday, operating troops encountered another group of suspected NPA rebels in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon.
The 403rd CMO officer said the gunbattle lasted for almost 10 minutes before the rebels disengaged from the firefight. No casualty was reported on both sides during the encounter.
And as the 49th founding anniversary of the NPA drew near, an undetermined number of Communist insurgents attacked the patrol base of the First Maneuver Platoon, First Maneuver Company of the 13thRegional Public Safty Battallion (13th RPSB) located in Barangay Tagcatong, Carmen town, Agusan del Norte before dawn Tuesday.