P65-M damage: Armed men burn heavy equipment in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 April) – Some P65 million worth of heavy equipment were lost to two separate burning incidents over the weekend by a still unidentified group of armed men in Buhangin, Paquibato and Calinan Districts, Davao City, the city police office said.

Construction firms are a favorite target of the NPA’s “revolutionary taxation” scheme. MindaNews file photo

On Saturday, the burning incident happened at around 11 p.m. in Barangay Callawa in Buhangin and in Barangay Fatima in Paquibato, city police office spokesperson Senior Insp. Maria Teresita Gaspan said.

The attackers burned four dump trucks and three backhoes in Callawa and another backhoe and a bulldozer in Fatima. Damage was placed at P57 million, she said.

Gaspan said residents nearby heard a gunshot before the attackers left.

At around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, the following day, a group of eight teenage-looking armed men aboard four motorcycles torched a backhoe worth P8 million in Purok 8, Dalagdag, Calinan.

A police report said Nathaniel C. Garrucha, project engineer of Ulticon Builders Inc. (UBI) said the backhoe was just rented from LTS Company for their project in Calinan. He added extortion was the possible motive for the burning.

Gaspan said an investigation was being conducted to determine the identities of the attackers but added the New People’s Army (NPA) could be the perpetrators based on the manner of the attack.

The NPA, which usually acknowledges the attacks it carries out, has yet to issue a statement.

The NPA, armed wing of the Maoist-oriented Communist Party of the Philippines, marked its 49th anniversary on March 29, Maundy Thursday.

A homegrown insurgency, the NPA relies on collecting “revolutionary taxes” from logging, mining and construction companies, among other sources of funds, for its armed struggle. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)