NPA rebels torch road building equipment in Masbate

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LEGAZPI CITY, Albay—Communist rebels set on fire heavy equipment at a road construction site in an upland village on the island of Ticao  in Masbate province on Wednesday, a Philippine National Police  official said Thursday.

Inspector Malu Calubaquid, PNP Bicol spokesperson, said in a telephone interview that a group of New People’s Army rebels attacked at around 7 p.m. on Wednesday a heavy equipment pool owned by a private contractor in Sitio Puro, Barangay (village) Buenavista, located some 12 km from the town proper of San Fernando.

Ticao Island is made up of the municipalities of San Fernando, Batuan, Monreal and San Jacinto.

The rebels set on fire a steam roller, a bulldozer, and a pay loader owned by Alejandro Lim Jr., the contractor of a government road construction project in the upland village,  Calabaquid said, citing a report from the town police station.

Calabaquid in a phone interview however could not say what type of road project was being implemented there and what agency or local government entity was carrying it out.

Calabaquid said investigators suspected that extortion might be behind the burning of the heavy equipment.

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