6 guards hurt as NPAs attack banana processing plant in North Cotabato
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines – Six security personnel of a multi-national banana grower were injured when suspected New Peoples Army (NPA) attacked the firm’s processing plant with rifle grenades on Thursday night.
Senior Supt. Maximo Layugan, North Cotabato police director, said the rebels first fired two rifle grenades at 8:45 p.m. toward the work area of the Lapanday Banana Group of Companies in Barangay Dallag, Arakan, North Cotabato.
It was followed by a series of automatic gunfire from the attackers, triggering a brief gun battle when the security personnel returned fire.
The rebels fled deep into the forest when soldiers and police responded, according to Senior Inspector Jose Mari Molina, Arakan town police chief.
“It was harassment by NPAs because the firm ignores extortion demand from the rebels,” Supt. Bernard Tayong, speaking for provincial police, told the Inquirer.
“It is always like that, if rebels extort or demand revolutionary tax from multi-national companies they resort to burning of equipment or harassment.”
The injured personnel were identified as Jerry Cansico, Ramar Embay, Naseran Embana, Joel Algocoy, Nelson Ampugo and Christoval Felix, all security guards of the banana firm.
Layugan has ordered the deployment of police peacekeeper to prevent similar attacks in the future. /muf
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