A civilian was killed while two others were wounded when an estimated 20 communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked the facility of of a construction firm in Surigao del Sur on Thursday night.
In an interview Friday, Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office director Col. James T. Goforth said two backhoes of the firm MR1 Construction were also burned by the rebels at the site in Purok 2, Barangay Zone 2 in Lanuza town at around 9 p.m.
Killed during the attack was Eldrin Daraman, the watchman of the construction firm.
Two workers were also injured during the attack and were immediately brought to a nearby medical facility.
Goforth said personnel from Lanuza Municipal Police Station and 2nd Surigao del Sur Provincial Mobile Force Company immediately responded to the site but were fired upon by the rebels.
“A 30-minute encounter ensued between our personnel and the attacking rebels, after which, insurgents withdrew towards the mountainous portion of Barangay Mampi, Lanuza,” he aid.
He said troopers from the 36th Infantry Battalion of the Army also reinforced the police personnel during the gun battle.
“After we successfully repulsed the attack, the personnel from Lanuza Fire Station were able to respond and penetrate the site where equipment were razed by the rebels. The damage is still undetermined as our investigators are still in the area. Aside from the backhoes, I believe there are other small equipment that were destroyed by the NPA rebels during the attack,” Goforth said.
He added that extortion is the prime motive behind the attack and the destruction of the equipment of the construction firm.
He identified the perpetrators as the members of Guerrilla Front (GF) 30 of the NPA’s North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.
“The rebels intended to destroy all the equipment inside the compound of the company but our forces were able to repel their plan,” Goforth said.
He also condemned the NPA rebels for killing the watchman and the wounding of two other civilian workers of the construction firm.
“We are saddened for the loss of another innocent life. The person was performing his duty at the company when attacked and killed by the insurgents. The rebels also injured two other innocent civilians,” Goforth said.
He added that joint pursuit operation with the Army is still ongoing in the area.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.