Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked a quarry site and bombed a heavy equipment on Sunday night in Barangay Orong, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
According to Lt. Col. Antonio Tumnog, commanding officer of the 1st Negros Island Geographical Battalion, about 12 communist rebels took the cellular phones of the quarry site employees before blowing up with an improvised explosive a back hoe owned by barangay kagawad (village councilman) Raquel Siguero.
Tumnog said damage was placed at P200,000.
The latest incident came on the heels of two similar attacks by other communist rebels on Panay Island that
killed a policeman and wounded 14 other policemen last week.
In Sunday’s attack, Tumnog said the NPA guerrillas left unharmed the quarry site employees.
The communist rebels in Negros Occidental, he added, want to project that they are still strong and a force to reckon with even after cancelation of peace talks between them and the Duterte administration.
Tumnog said he believes that the Kabankalan attackers are members of the Central Negros Front of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros.
Last month, two foreigners and their Filipino driver were also injured after being caught in a crossfire during an ambush staged by NPA rebels in Cauayan, also in Negros Occidental.
Policemen who were the targets of the attack were unharmed.
Tumnog said the communist rebels are hitting “soft” targets, such as private and public installations, if they fail in hitting military and police personnel.
Army soldiers and troops of the 6th Regional Mobile Force are conducting pursuit operations againsts the fleeing suspects.