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2 hurt as NPA attacks firm’s facilities in Davao

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A security guard and a fish vendor were injured in simultaneous attacks launched by the New People’s Army against facilities owned by Lapanday Foods Corp. in Davao City early yesterday morning.

The Provincial Police Office in Davao del Norte reported that more or less 100 heavily armed NPA rebels on board two 10-wheel trucks arrived and burned the Macondray Plastics Inc. facility in Barangay Tagpore, Panabo City at around 3:30 a.m. Tagpore is a boundary area between Panabo and Davao City.

MPI, formerly Agro Plastics, Inc., supplies the requirements of the banana companies under the Lapanday Group.

Another group of NPA rebels arrived and burned the Lapanday box plant and plastic plant buildings on Tigatto Road in Buhangin, Davao City. Security guard Reynaldo Talamaque was wounded in the attack.

Buhangin police station commander Senior Insp. Milgrace Driz reported that an improvised explosive device exploded on Mandug Road in Purok 8, Tigatto during the attack. A fish vendor, Larry Timbal Buenafe, 34, of Barangay 76-A, Agdao, Davao City, was wounded in the explosion and was taken to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

A third group of NPA rebels arrived and attacked the Lorenzo Farm in Barangay Pangyan, Calinan, Davao City. They disarmed the guards on duty and seized four shotguns and an M-16 Armalite rifle.

A security guard of Lorenzo Farm appeared before the Calinan police station and narrated the attack. According to Rico Truz Badil Jr., he was wounded in the buttocks during the attack.

The NPA-Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command has owned up to the attacks. Spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez said the three simultaneous tactical offensives against the Lorenzo-owned companies and ranch started at around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday.

“The PBB’s (Pulang Bagani Command) coordinated offensives served as punitive action against the Lorenzos for their numerous crimes against agricultural workers, peasants, and Lumad,” Sanchez said.

Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command, said the attacks were part of the NPA’s extortion activities. He said Lapanday management has been receiving extortion letters from the communist group. (Yas D. Ocampo and PNA)