Hunt on for rebels in equipment burning

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

TROOPS belonging to the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) launched on Wednesday a pursuit operation against suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) who torched construction equipment in Malapatan, Sarangani Province.

Eastmincom Public Information officer Captain Alberto Caber, in a phone interview, said troops of the Army's 72nd Infantry Battalion in coordination with the Arakan Municipal Police are now tracking down the whereabouts of the NPA rebels who torched the equipment.

Lieutenant General Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz III, commander of the Eastmincom, ordered the 72nd Infantry Battalion to assist the Arakan policemen in their law enforcement efforts, and to secure the area.


Caber said the incident took place at So. Datal Bub, Barangay Daan Suyan, at 12:10 a.m. on Tuesday. He added that the communist rebels burned one backhoe, one grader, and a road roller trucks.

"The equipment is used in road construction as part of the developmental projects of the local government of Malapatan town. Based on the initial investigation of the police, the motive of the perpetrators has something to do with extortion," Caber said.

The local authorities believed that the NPA rebels operating in Cotabato are behind the burning of the heavy construction equipment in Sarangani Province.

Caber added that there is only one communist group operating in the two provinces.

Cruz, on the other hand, urged the public to also help the law enforcement agencies in their peace and security efforts by providing them information on the whereabouts of the communist rebels.

Based on the Comprehensive Agreement on Respects of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), an agreement between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), attacking people and destroying properties are violations.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 16, 2014.

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