TAGUM CITY – Communist rebels on Friday raided a banana plantation owned by a multinational firm in Tago, Surigao del Sur, hacking down at least 15,000 full-grown trees and firing at several pieces of heavy equipment parked along a roadside, police on Sunday said.
Superintendent Martin Gamba, spokesperson of Caraga police regional office, said an undetermined number of New People’s Army guerrillas “left a large swath of destruction” at the plantation owned by Dole-Stanfilco in Barangay (village) Anahao Daan around 9 p.m.
The rebels chopped down some 15,000 fully-grown banana plants “with fruits ready for harvest”, according to Gamba.
Four backhoes and a bulldozer parked by the roadside owned by a certain Edilberto Garay of Davao City were burned as the fleeing insurgents, believed to be members of the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 19-B under a certain Susay, passed by Sitio Ibo also in the same village, said Gamba.
He said the attack may have caused millions of pesos of damage to crops and other properties.
The police official said police and the military were now conducting operations against the attackers. He said an investigation into the incident has been launched.
The incident in Surigao del Sur happened just a day after NPA rebels kidnapped a policeman and a soldier at a checkpoint the insurgents had set up along a village road in Laak town, Compostela Valley province, several hundred kilometers to the southeast. –Frinston L. Lim, Inquirer Mindanao