NPA rebels ransack banana plantation in Compostela Valley
TAGUM CITY, Philippines—Communist rebels attacked a banana plantation in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, on Friday, burned down its packing house and several pieces of equipment and divested the guards of at least 10 firearms, police said Saturday.
The rebels also chopped down some 300 fruit-bearing plants at the Musahamat Farm 1 Inc. in Sitio Cadena in Barangay Tagdangua village around 10:30 p.m., according to Senior Superintendent Abraham Rojas, Compostela Valley police chief.
Rojas told the Inquirer in a telephone interview by phone that the rebels, numbering about 60, set fire to the packing house and the firm’s chemical stock room, a backhoe, five units of water pumps and three container vans.
“According to Mr. Edilberto Durante, the firm’s security chief, the [rebels] immediately herded the workers and lectured them about the supposed issue of low wages being paid by the company, and then razed the place,” Rojas said.
He said troops from the Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Maneuvering Company of the Philippine National Police’s 11th Regional Public Safety Battalion have mounted a pursuit operation against the rebels.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.