P7.5-M heavy equipment burned in Himamaylan

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

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) allegedly burned two backhoes at Sitio Bulod, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday.

Police Captain Arturo Margallo, deputy chief for administration of Himamaylan City Police Station, said that six unidentified persons arrived and approached the watchman of a project site around 7:30 p.m.

One of the perpetrators then introduced themselves as NPA rebels, and reportedly told the watchman that the construction firm was not paying revolutionary taxes, Margallo said.

They then doused the heavy equipment with two gallons of gasoline and set it on fire.

Margallo said the perpetrators then fled, leaving the watchman unharmed.

The burnt equipment was valued at P7.5 million, based on reports from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

Margallo said the firm is currently undertaking a P100-million worth of road project dubbed Himamaylan-Tayasan road in the area.

Prior to the incident, Margallo said the firm has not reported any threat from the rebels.

Despite initially looking at the incident as insurgency-related, Margallo said they will have to verify it with their intelligence counterpart and the Army.