Suspected rebels torch construction equipment in Albay

DARAGA, Albay 9/29/17 (Bicol Standard)--DARAGA, Albay 9/29/17 (Bicol Standard)--A group of around 50 suspected rebels is believed to be behind the torching of construction equipment owned by E.M. Cuerpo Incorporated at the construction site of Bicol International Airport in Barangay Alobo, this town 8:20 p.m Thursday.

The torching, according to the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, was done simultaneously with two separate harassment incidents in patrol bases of the army and police.

Among the pieces of heavy equipment that were set on fire were five heavy trucks, one mini dump truck, one double cab truck, one grader, one mixer, one crane and one owner-type jeep.

A firefight also lasted for around 25 to 30 minutes between the government troops and the suspected rebels.

As of this writing, the cost of damages is yet to be determined, pending declaration by the construction company.

Meantime, the 9th Infantry Division said that extortion is possibly the motive behind the incident.

In a statement, the Army said the incident is proof of the rebels being "anti-poor" and "anti-development."