CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 21 Feb) – Around 50 communist rebels staged a “lightning checkpoint” along the Butuan-Cagayan de Oro national highway in Medina town, Misamis Oriental Tuesday morning, stopping all vehicles to look for soldiers and policemen, the military said.
Capt. Peter Sarsagat, acting public affairs officer of the 4th Infantry Division, said the rebels captured no soldiers nor policemen.
He said two platoons of the “Sandatahang Pangpropaganda” of the New People’s Army Guerilla Front 4B set up a checkpoint along the highway in Purok 4, Barangay Pahindong, Medina town.
“The checkpoint lasted for only 30 minutes. They wanted to show their forces,” Sarsagat said.
He said the rebels also talked with Barangay Pahindong Chairman Roel Cabanos and even ate their breakfast at the basketball of the barangay hall.
Sarsagat said the rebels also stopped all vehicles asking those who were wearing military and police uniforms to step down.
The rebels left soon after going to the general direction of Barangay Macopa, also in Medina town, he said.
“Even if the entire event lasted only for 30 minutes, it was enough to put a chill on our tourism industry,” said Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Emano.
He said the publicity of the rebel presence is enough to drive away the tourists from the province.
The governor said he is now thinking of putting on hold the plans to develop resorts around several waterfalls and beaches in the province.
“So long as there is a shooting war, no tourists will come to the province,” Emano said.
The NPA has a strong presence in Misamis Oriental. The rebels celebrated the 48th foundation anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines in barangay Mananom-Bago, Medina town, Misamis Oriental last Dec. 26, 2016. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)