By MIKE U. CRISMUNDO
CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – Authorities are now in pursuit of several armed men alleged to have torched a banana plantation in Barangay Casisang, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, on Friday.
According to a military report, the incident happened around 12: 20 a.m. with the yet-to-be-identified individuals seemingly coming out of nowhere burning several machines and buildings of the plantation reportedly owned by DOLE Philippines.
“We cannot still determine as of this time the identities of the perpetrators or this terroristic act or their motive,” said 403rd Infantry Brigade Civil Military Operations officer Capt. Norman Tagros in a phone interview yesterday.
Tagros, however, didn’t dismiss the possibility of the burning being caused by bandits conducting extortion activities in the area.
Col. Eric C. Vinoya, commanding officer of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, has since ordered the deployment of more troops in the province to augment the 1st Special Forces Battallion (1st SFB) who are now looking for the perpetrators.