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PNP, AFP probe CNorte heavy equipment blast


DAET, Camarines Norte--A joint group composed of members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has created a dedicated task team to focus on the investigation of the recent bombing of heavy equipment by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) at Paracale town.

In a case conference yesterday held at Camp Wenceslao Q. Vinzons here, the joint group focused on the identification of the suspected rebels.

Bombing

It would be recalled that around 30 of the suspects who introduced themselves as members of the rebel group, were carrying high-powered firearms when they arrived at Sitio Buhangin, Barangay Gumarus, Paracale at around 10 p.m. on December 22.

Said location was where VC Varin construction company was conducting bridge construction project.
According to the investigators, the group directed Assistant Construction Foreman Justino Cardenas y Rivarez, along with some construction wokers to proceed to the seashore, some 100 meters away from the location of the heavy equipment.

Using electric improvised explosive devices (IED), the group of suspected rebels then blew up four units of heavy equipment of the VC Varin construction company, including a road roller, pay loaders, and a back hoe.

Shortly after the incident, one of the suspected NPA members believed to be the leader uttered: "Sabihin niyo mga NPA kami, pasensya na kayo kailangan lang namin gawin ito dahil yung kontratista niyo ay hindi sumusunod sa usapan."

They then walked to the direction of Barangay Luklukan, Jose Panganiban town. As of press time, the suspects are still at large.

During the initial investigation, the authorities recovered from the crime scene a duplex wire believed to be used as electric firing wire and small broken engine parts with explosive residue.

They also estimated the damages to be around Php8,000,000.

Full cooperation

During the case conference, Francisco Andaya, foreman of VC Varin Construction firm, said that he will urge some of the workers to execute their affidavits relative to the incident on Monday, December 29.

The information in said affidavits will be compared with the existing profile of NPA members operating in the province.

Meanwhile, Robinson Sabas, also of VC Varin  Construction, said that the incident may be an offshoot of a previous demand allegedly from the NPA while they were concreting the road from Bagong Silang, Labo to Barangay Alayao, Capalonga.

Sabas added that he will provide the copy of the demand letter from the rebel group, which was represented by a certain Ka Favian.

In a report from the Camarines Norte Provincial Police Office, PSupt Leo Estavillo Quevedo, DPDA, and LTC Medel M. Aguilar of 49IB, 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army said that they will work hard, share information, and will not stop until the perpetrators of the "terroristic act" are brought to justice.

The NPA has not yet issued a statement on the incident.--BICOLSTANDARD.COM

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