Alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) set on fire eight heavy equipment in Davao City, two days after the communist group’s 49th anniversary on March 29.
On Sunday morning, one burned Caterpillar backhoe was discovered at Purok 8, Dalagdag, Calinan, Davao City. This was reported by a certain Bobby Cañete, a resident of the area.
The police’s investigating team found out that eight armed persons, ages 15 to 18, were seen on board four motorcycles, who drove by pair, burning the equipment at around 11 p.m. on Saturday night.
The backhoe, which costs PHP8 million, was rented by Ulticon Builders Incorporated from LTS Company, according to project engineer Nathaniel Garrucha.
In a separate report, two more heavy equipment, which were estimated to cost PHP15 million, were burned down by armed men in the remote Sitio Maria, Barangay Fatima, Paquibato District, Davao City.
Davao City Police Office (DCPO) spokesperson Ma. Teresita Gaspan said armed men on board four motorcycles were seen coming from Callawa, Buhangin District and stopped near the parked heavy equipment.
They struck the windshields of both equipment then poured gasoline and set them on fire.
Gaspan said a witness near the area told police investigators he heard a gunshot before the men left the area.
On the same day, Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 spokesperson Milgrace Driz reported that armed men set on fire three heavy equipment belonging to Leonard Trucking Services in Callawa, Buhangin District – some 17 kilometers from the downtown area of Davao City.
Based on the initial report, Driz said the burning of one Howo dump truck, one Caterpillar backhoe and one King Long dump truck took place at Purok 4, Sitio Suadan and Purok 14 in Sitio Quarry in Barangay Callawa, Davao City.
Two more equipment were burned by armed men that include a wheel-type Monarch Caterpillar backhoe owned by Delta Trucking, and Lugong backhoe owned by G.E Enterprises.
Gaspan said all incidents are still under investigation.
Despite these incidents, Driz said the observance of the Holy Week in Davao was generally peaceful.
“The Holy week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday was generally peaceful,” she said.
Driz said the Holy Week break was peaceful because the burning incidents were not related to the Lenten activities. PNA