NPA claims burning of P7.5-M heavy equipment in Himamaylan

One of the two backhoes that were destroyed by suspected NPA rebels in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental Wednesday (June 14, 2023). (Photo courtesy of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Mt. Cansermon Command (MCC) – New People’s Army (NPA) South Central Negros Guerrilla Front has claimed responsibility for the burning of two backhoes at Sitio Bulod, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental last week.

In a statement released to the media yesterday, Ka Dionesio Magbuelas, spokesperson of MCC-NPA, said they sanctioned the construction firm after it allegedly failed to respect the revolutionary movement by paying the so-called revolutionary tax.

“Wala ini ginsunod ang mga patakaran sa rebolusyonaryong pagbuwis nga ginpahamtang sa mga erya nga sakop sa mga yunit sang NPA,” Magbuelas added.

The rebel group also alleged that they have received complaints about the workers’ situation and their low salaries.

Magbuelas said the firm was first sanctioned in September 2021 for the same reasons and was given a chance to comply with its obligations, particularly in the areas covered by the NPA.

On the night of June 14, six unidentified persons introduced themselves as NPA rebels to a watchman and allegedly told him that the construction firm was not paying revolutionary taxes, according to the police.

They then took two gallons of gasoline, poured it on the heavy equipment, and set it on fire, which left an estimated damage of P7.5 million, based on police investigation.

Police said that the firm is currently working on a P100-million road project dubbed Himamaylan-Tayasan road in the area.

However, the NPA said that this barangay development project aims to provide opportunities to big mining companies that plan to operate in the hinterlands of Cansermon, Tahod-Ilahas, Cambantog, and other neighboring areas.

The rebel group believed that this project will also affect the livelihood of the people, and their lands.

The group also condemned the killing of a couple and their two minor-sons at Sitio Kangkiling, Barangay Buenavista on that same night.