Rogelio Mangubat, chair of Barangay Saravia here, said security officers of the Progressive Farms Inc. reported to his office this morning that an M-79 rifle grenade exploded at the rear portion of the farm compound shortly after midnight Sunday but missed any of its facilities.
"There was a loud explosion and then it it was followed by a burst of gunfire," Mangubat said.
Mangubat said the rifle grenade could have been fired from a hill located at the boundary of Barangay Saravia and Palian of nearby Tupi town.
He said the attackers reportedly targeted the artificial insemination laboratory but misfired and only hit the surrounding trees.
The farm, which is reportedly the biggest of its kind and one of the most modern swine breeding facilities in Mindanao, had survived several attacks from the New People's Army (NPA) in the area during the last decade.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes earlier revealed that the farm's executives had received demands from NPA for payment of revolutionary taxes but they reportedly rejected them.
Senior Supt. Robert Kiunisala, South Cotabato police director, claimed the rebels have again stepped up their "progressive taxation" activities in the area as reportedly confirmed by some members of the business community.
The NPA has not issued a statement owning or disowning the attack. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)