Sara Duterte: NPA attack punished innocent workers, not the Lorenzos

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2017 04:17 PM

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte again condemned the recent attacks by communist rebels against the Lapanday Foods Corporation, saying it was a "sad day" for the city after the fish vendor who got injured in the weekend attack passed away on Thursday. 

"I am sorry we lost Larry, a victim of delusional people living in an alternate universe who are now celebrating their so-called victory against oppression," she said in a statement.

She was referring to Larry Buenafe, who suffered head injuries when an improvised bomb exploded in the attack. 

"But it is a celebration that means nothing except grief for the true victims. Larry was murdered by people who think that it will make a difference if they punish the Lorenzos by burning their factories," she added.

The New People's Army (NPA) on Saturday launched separate attacks against the Lorenzo family-owned factories and ranch, torching equipment and seizing firearms from the security guards.

Police said a suspected NPA rebel was also killed in the incident, while two security guards were injured. 

A spokesman for the rebels said the attacks "served as punitive action against the Lorenzos for their numerous crimes against agricultural workers, peasants and Lumad."

Duterte said, while the attack made a difference, it was not to the Lorenzo clan "because their wealth is still there, tucked safety somewhere."

"The attacks, that so-called punitive actions to dispense social justice did make a blowing, heartbreaking difference -- to a widow, to a daughter, to a son," she said, adding that the hundreds of employees who lost their jobs were affected, too.

"Larry and his family, the employees who lost their jobs and their families -- these are the true victims of those attacks. They are the ones punished by a shady group who claims to be the true army of the people."

Duterte then scored the "twisted ideology" of armed communists, whose National Democratic Front (NDF) is in peace talks with her father's administration.

"The attacks on Saturday and the death of Larry today should always remind us of the twistedness of an ideology and the monsters behind it, how they employ fear and terror in their attempt to cloak their insignificance and the obsolescence of their political belief," she said.

In ending her statement, Duterte said that although she was able to inform Buenafe's wife, Ruth, that her husband was in the hospital, the couple never got to talk as Buenafe fell into comatose after the attack. 

"Earlier that day, one of the last text messages that Larry received from Ruth was a one-liner 'I love you.'," she said.

"The message was unread. Ruth never received any reply."