LOPEZ, Quezon -- Around twenty heavily-armed men believed to be communist rebels burned down four heavy equipment and various materials owned by a big time construction firm doing road projects at Bgy. Tan-ag Ibaba, here, on Saturday night.
Town police commander Chief Insp. Romulo Albacea said the armed men torched a Hitachi pay loader, two Isuzu mini dump trucks, an Isuzu truck concrete mixer, and an Isuzu Elf truck at around 9:30 p.m.
Apart from the heavy equipment, Albacea said two Robin generator sets, three Robin plate compactor sets, three Robin mixer engine and a Robin concrete cutter set were also set on fire by the suspected rebels.
He said the firm is owned by RTY Construction based in Lucena City.
Prior to the incident, Albacea said the alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels led by one Ka Jessie of Apolonio Mendoza Command’s Platoon 2 operating in Lopez, Buenavista, Calauag and Guinayangan arrived in the area at around 9 p.m.
“At gunpoint, the armed men forced the foreman identified as Romeo Quejano to line up along with his 12 workers before they start setting the construction equipment and materials on fire,” said Albacea in a phone interview.
He said the workers’ personal belongings like mobile phones and cash were forcibly taken away by the group.
After carrying out their mission, Albacea said the group finally left the place toward Bgy. De la Paz leaving all the workers unharmed.
Meanwhile, a M35 military truck of Phil. Air Force driven by A1C Ojer Landicho and occupied by a civilian mechanic and a security aide of Clark Air Base was hit by a home-made land mine planted by the rebels along the provincial road of Bgy. Hagakhakin in the adjacent town of Gumaca, Quezon.
The truck was loaded with personal belongings and was on its way to Sorsogon, Bicol region when slightly hit by the improvised explosive device.
As a result, the vehicle’s right front side including the windshield were damaged but no one was hurt.
“The rebels might have thought that the truck was loaded with soldiers who were about to reinforce in Lopez. But they did not open fire at the truck upon realizing that it was a mistake,” Albacea said.