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Army lashes at NPA for plantation attack

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By Mike U. Crismundo

Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – The Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) on Wednesday lambasted the New People’s Army (NPA) for attacking an agricultural farm plantation on Sunday in Bukidnon province.

In a statement, the 4th ID said the attack on a private institution and civilians is a grave violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), one of the four substantive agenda that was formulated during peace negotiations between the government and the Communist rebels.

“The incident is another violation of CARHRIHL when the NPA deliberately and dastardly attacked civilians and their properties. This is their (NPA) way of compelling companies and other small business entities to give in to their extortion demands,” Capt. Joe Patrick A. Martinez, spokesperson of the 4th ID said, in a statement.

He said the impact of the attack on the pineapple plantation would mean the loss of jobs for the locals.

Martinez said the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade was supporting the Bukidnon Police Provincial Office in pursuing the perpetrators.

Col. Eric Vinoya, commanding officer of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade also condemned the attack.

“It is very unfortunate that despite being a signatory to the CARHRIHL, the NPA, with the guidance of their leaders, still continue to attack innocent civilians,” he said, in the same statement.

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