Rebels torch heavy equipment in Masbate

LEGAZPI CITY—For allegedly failing to pay revolutionary tax, New People’s Army (NPA) members on early Monday morning set on fire four pieces of heavy equipment at a construction site in a village in Mandaon town, Masbate, a police officer said Tuesday.

Police Senior Insp. Malu Calubaquib, Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol spokesperson, said a group of 50 communist dissidents raided at about 4 a.m. Monday the equipment compound of the Hi-Tone Construction and Development Corp. in Barangay (village) Tagpu, Mandaon town.

The construction firm is reportedly owned by Legazpi City-based businessman Elizaldy Co.

The communist rebels burned two dump trucks, a backhoe and a truck cement mixer of the construction firm by pouring gasoline and setting these on fire.

The police report could not yet determine the cost of damage brought by the incident and could not say if there were employees at the site when the raid took place, Calubaquib said.

She said the heavy equipment were being used in constructing a barangay road in the vicinity of barangays Alas and Tagpu in Mandaon town.

Police investigators theorized that the motive for the attack was the failure of the construction firm to pay extortion money demanded by the rebels. (PNA)


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