AYUNGON, Negros Oriental - The New People’s Army (NPA) has claimed responsibility for burning P120-million worth of heavy equipment owned by a mining firm here early Wednesday morning.
Dionesio Magbuelas, spokesperson of the NPA in Central Negros, said the Mt. Cansermon Command of the Communist Party of the Philippines burned 8 backhoes, 2 payloaders, 2 dump trucks, 2 generator sets and 1 rock crusher.
Magbuelas said the firm that owns the equipment supplies silica to 10 major cement factories in the Philippines and is the 15th company generating profits from open-pit mining.
He said they punished the mining company because its activities destroy the environment.
But the Philippine Army in Negros Oriental believes the rebel group is trying to extort money from the firm.
Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, commanding officer of the 302nd Brigade, said the mining firm's management refused to issue a statement.
Madriaga also believes the rebels were trying to retaliate following government’s enhanced police operations aimed at curbing criminality.
He said rebels should stop launching attacks as their terror activities result in the displacement of people and the loss of livelihood of many.