Rebels burn construction equipment in Batangas

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2014 12:24 PM | Updated as of May 04 2014 08:24 PM

BATANGAS -- Millions worth of construction equipment were burned down by suspected members of the communist New People’s Army in Nasugbu town Saturday morning, police said.

Batangas police director Senior Superintendent Omega Jireh Fidel said the San Pascual, Batangas-based Toreja Construction Company, owned by Dionisio Toreja, lost a total of nine heavy equipment to the rebels

These includs two bulldozers, three backhoes, a grader, a road roller, a pay loader and a water tanker truck.

The estimated cost of damage is around P25 million.

According to the police, around 15 heavily armed members of the NPA -- including one female -- stormed the Toreja road construction site in Sitio Buntog, Brgy. Bulihan and ordered all construction workers and heavy equipment operators to step out from their barracks and confined them in one area around 9 a.m.

At gunpoint, the rebels took all their cellular phones. They also started pouring gasoline and torched all the equipment.

They later returned the cellular phones to their owners and immediately fled on foot towards the east direction bound for Magallanes, Cavite.

The employees were only able to ask for police and military assistance after three hours.

Probers have yet to determine if there was a failed demand for revolutionary tax from the rebel group.

Recovered pieces of evidence include rags, a sack and two plastic containers with gasoline.

The police and members of the 730th Combat Group of the Philippine Air Force immediately conducted a hot pursuit operation.