Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were allegedly behind the burning of heavy equipment that belonged to a construction company in Occidental Mindoro, the Philippine Army said on Thursday.
Captain Chris Cuenca of the Army’s 203rd brigade said around 20 to 30 communist rebels purportedly stormed the compound of the Bluemax Tradelink Inc., located in Barangay Malawaan, Rizal town around 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
He said the communist fighters first disarmed the company’s security guards before setting on fire a generator set, the control house, and grinding machine.
No one was reported hurt.
“We happened to have troops (stationed) nearby who once alerted and pursued the fleeing (rebels),” Cuenca added.
Cuenca said a brief encounter between government soldiers and the rebels erupted around 8 p.m. also on Wednesday, and pursuit operations are still ongoing as of Thursday.
In 2016, Bluemax announced its partnership with the provincial government to desilt the Lumintao River, as a flood mitigation project.
Aside from dredging, the company is also engaged in the export of sand.
But communities in Malawaan have opposed the project saying this would damage the farmlands.