NPA rebels attack Del Monte compound
MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon—A security guard was killed and three others, including a civilian, were wounded when armed men believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels stormed the compound of a multinational firm here past 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
The military said the attack could be part of the rebels’ campaign to collect so-called revolutionary taxes from businesses operating in the province and elsewhere.
Capt. Christian Uy, of the military’s 4th Infantry Division, confirmed the NPA attack on the Del Monte Phils. compound, also known as Camp Philips.
Dr. Taruc Larson, resident physician at the Camp Philips Memorial Hospital, identified the slain security guard as Nerry Alfredo.
Wounded were security guards Jofol Sumawan and Franklin Millanes and civilian Mario Ayuban.
In a statement, Del Monte said its operations were not affected by the attack.
“The incident is truly unfortunate and Del Monte management is unaware of the reasons why the rebels committed such acts of violence,” said the firm.
“Del Monte has been operating in Bukidnon for the last 87 years, and it has provided gainful employment to over 20,000 people across 10 municipalities,” it said.
Lolo Ocena, an employee of Del Monte, said at least 30 men arrived in two trucks and proceeded to the compound where three parked trucks were set on fire.
Ocena, who was driving from work in a motorcycle with two other coworkers, said he was blocked by the rebels as he drove by the compound.
“The armed men said that we should not worry because they would not harm us,” he said.
The 8th Infantry Battalion
also received reports about the presence of armed men at the Atugan Bridge in Malaybalay City at the time of the raid on the Del Monte compound.
Lt. Col. Eugenio Osias said the rebels blocked traffic in two towns to prevent reinforcement troops from responding to the attack on Del Monte, one of the biggest food companies in the world. JB Deveza and Cai Panlilio, Inquirer Mindanao with Associated Press