Palm trees, trucks torched by rebels

SUSPECTED members of New People’s Army (NPA) cut down palm oil trees in the plantation owned by Agusan Milling (Agumil) Philippines in Phase 1, Barangay Emelda, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur around 6 a.m. on Saturday.

They also torched the mini-dump truck owned by plantation and an oil tanker.

Col. Gilbert Saret, the deputy commander of 1001st Infantry Brigade, told TIMES yesterday that at around 3:30 p.m., the AMC Iligan oil tanker with plate number URP 556 was burned by four rebels believed to be member of Guerrilla Front 14 in Barangay Basa, Trento, Agusan del Sur.

The said truck was carrying palm oil from Agumil when they were intercepted.

He said the rebels attacked Agumil around 5 a.m. They then later set fire to the trees. Around 11 a.m., they torched the truck owned by the company.

In a separate interview, Lt. Col. Ismael Mandanas, battalion commander of 25th IB, said their troops, in coordination with 26th IB and police, are conducting clearing operation in the area.

“It was a trap to ambush the responding authorities,” he said. “We responded without passing their ambush.”

The Trento PNP is currently conducting investigation of the incident and determine the cost of damage.

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