Millions lost as alleged NPA rebels burn tractors of biofuel plant

By VERA LEIGH LASAM, ABS-CBN Cebu

Posted at Sep 13 2008 08:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2008 04:35 AM

Operations in Tamlang Valley Agri Development Corporation (TVADC), a Bio-Green subsidiary, have been put on hold for over three days now, after three of its tractors were burned by some 40 armed men who said they were from the New People’s Army (NPA).
 
The TVADC plant, located in Barangay Mantikil in the town of Siaton in Negros Oriental province, aims to provide ethanol, a fuel alternative. 
 
The company started operations August last year. The were set to have their first harvest had their operations not been stopped. 
 
TVADC is a foreign firm with a local partner, former congressman Herminio Teves. 
 
The group of armed men identified themselves as members of Pulang Talinis Command, NPA faction, through leaflets they distributed to the tractor operators. 
 
Field manager Reynaldo Darias said the loss would reach a million pesos a day. Over 300 families working for TVADC are also affected. 
 
A whole battalion of the Philippine Army meanwhile is still engaging NPA rebels in sporadic encounters in the neighboring town of Sta. Catalina. 
 

Lt. Col. Erwin Neri, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, said they will not leave the area until they have fully crippled the group he identified as Kilusang Rehiyon Sentral Bisayas, the same group they had an encounter with last May.