(The Philippine Star) | Updated February 28, 2017 - 12:00am
BUTUAN CITY, Philippines – Communist rebels attacked last Saturday the compound of the proposed site for a hydroelectric power plant in Valencia City that President Duterte had visited during its groundbreaking last December.
At least 20 armed New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas took the mobile phones of the workers inside the compound of the 10.6-megawatt Pulanai Hydroelectric Power Plant at Zone 11, Hangaron, Barangay Lumbayao.
Military officials said that according to witnesses, the NPA rebels fired several warning shots after laying some improvised explosive devices (IEDs) inside the compound.
Members of the Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) later arrived to deactivate the IEDs.
The President had attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Pulanai hydropower plant, owned and operated by Repower Energy Development Corp., last Dec. 10.
The plant is one of the power generation facilities envisioned to provide electricity and boost economic activity in the area.
At around 10 p.m. that same day, another NPA unit burned down two trucks and one trailer owned by the Davao Agri-Venture Corp. (DAVCO) that produces pineapples in Barangay Merangiran, Quezon, Bukidnon.
The rebels also took the firearms and mobile phones of the security guards.
According to Capt. Patrick Martinez, spokesman for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (ID), company officials refused to pay revolutionary tax to the NPA.
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., 4ID commander, lambasted the NPA attack and promised that there will be no letup in pursuit operations against the rebels.
In Misamis Oriental, a soldier was killed during clashes with communist guerrillas yesterday.
Capt. Joe Martinez, of the Army’s 4th ID, confirmed that one soldier not immediately identified was killed in a firefight in Barangay Kaulayanan in Sugbong Cogon, Misamis Oriental.
Meanwhile, a government soldier was wounded after an encounter with NPA rebels yesterday in Malimono, Surigao del Norte.
Lt. Col. Rico Amaro, commander of the Army’s 30th IB, said the soldiers clashed with rebels in Barangay Tinago.
Two NPA rebels were reportedly killed in separate incidents in Lian, Batangas and Bonbon, Northern Samar. – With Arnell Ozaeta, Miriam Desacada