CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 29 May) — Suspected communist rebels torched four houses and a small chapel in a hinterland village in Opol, Misamis Oriental on Thursday morning.
Opol town Mayor Maximino Seno condemned the attack and called on the military to protect the residents of Zone 2, Barangay Limonda.
“Most of them are poor, I don’t know the reason why the NPA (New People’s Army) attacked them,” the mayor said.
Residents of the village are mostly farmers
“The villagers saw two of the rebels pour gasoline at the chapel and houses,” Capt. Rene Belmonte Jr., spokesperson of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade, said.
The chapel that the rebels burned, Belmonte said, was used by “Born Again Christians.”
He identified the perpetrators as NPA rebels led by a certain “Decoy” of the Guerilla Front 12 that operates near the border of Misamis Oriental and Iligan City.
Belmonte said the rebels figured in a clash with Army soldiers in Barangay Rogongon in Iligan City on Tuesday.
He said the rebels proceeded to Zone 2 but residents turned them away by telling them they do not have food to spare.
Belmonte said early Thursday morning, 14 rebels, mostly armed with M14 rifles came back and burned the chapel and houses.
He said the rebels shouted “Mabuhay ang NPA” (Long live the NPA) when they left the village. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)