LUCENA CITY -- While Quezon officials including the police and military were busy in preparing for yesterday’ scheduled visit of President Rodrigo Duterte, band of armed men believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels burned down multi-million pesos worth of property of a firm constructing a mini-hydro dam at Bgy. Maragondon, Real, Quezon shortly before midnight on Monday.
Town Mayor Abigail Diestro-Aquino named the construction firm as Pacific Summit which has been doing the “Upper Lubayat Mini Hydro Power Plant Project” at said coastal village.
Quoting project manager Agustin Jaramillo Jr., Quezon police director, Senior Supt. Osmundo de Guzman said aside from the makeshift office and shelter, the armed men also torched the construction firm’s three dump trucks, two back hoes, a generator set, a transit mixer, a loader, an L300 Van and one unserviceable Strada pick- up truck.
De Guzman said the incident happened at 11:30 p.m. shortly after the suspects, armed with rifles swooped down at the project site, woke up all the workers and told them to get out of their shelter.
He said the suspects then set everything on fire before leaving the place.
No one was hurt during the incident.
Joint elements of Quezon Provincial Mobile Force Company (QPMFC) under Supt. Arnulfo Selencio and 80th Infantry Battallion of Philippine Army immediately conducted pursuit operation.
De Guzman said they believe that the rebels’ act was aimed at embarassing the President on his visit to the province.
Secondly, he said the firm’s refusal to pay the so-called “revolutionary tax” might have triggered the burning.