Black Saturday attacks

Rebels torch P65 million heavy equipment in 3 areas

THE FOUNDING anniversary week of the New People’s Army (NPA) did not pass by without any chaos as the rebels attacked various quarry sites in the city and burned several heavy duty vehicles on Saturday evening.

The communist guerillas left an estimated P65-million in damage during the simultaneous attacks, as police are looking into possible extortion as the possible motive.

The simultaneous attacks happened two days after the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, turned 49 years.

In Barangay Callawa, Buhangin District, the NPA burned five backhoes, four dump trucks and a bulldozer in two sites — Purok 4, Sitio Suadan and Purok 14, Sitio Quarry – Saturday evening.

At the same time, the rebels also burned one bulldozer and backhoe in Barangay Fatima, Paquibato District.

Another backhoe was also torched by the rebels in Purok 8, Barangay Dalagdag, Calinan District.

According to the police, the incidents were “perpetrated by undetermined numbers of lawless armed groups.”

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office (PRO) XI, said Callawa Barangay Captain Maridol Gumahin called the Buhangin police station to report the Buhangin incidents at 12:36 a.m. yesterday.

Report said the armed men burned four dump trucks and one backhoe owned by Leonard Trucking Services; three backhoe and one bulldozer owned by Monarch Construction Company and one backhoe owned Delta Construction Company around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Four armed men on board two motorcycles reportedly torched the equipment. The perpetrators were said to be members of the Pulang Bagani Command 1.

Sr. Insp. Maria Teresita Gaspan, the spokesperson of Davao City Police Office, said armed men also torched one bulldozer and backhoe in Sitio Sta. Maria in Barangay Fatima around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Initial investigation disclosed that the perpetrators, on board a four-wheeled vehicle, arrived in the area and burned down the equipment.

In the Calinan attack, witnesses said armed men, believed to be ages 15 to 18 years old, burned the backhoe around 11 p.m.

The perpetrators were riding in pair on board four motorcycles.

Nathaniel Garrucha, project engineer of Ulticon Builders, told police investigators that they just rented the backhoe from LTS Company for a project at the area.

The Calinan police station only received the attack report by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Calinan police station commander Chief Insp. Michael Uyanguren immediately sent a team to check on the burning of a Caterpillar Backhoe.