By Nitz Arancon
SOLDIERS belonging to the 65th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army seized 78 sacks of rice at a makeshift camp of the New People’s Army along the boundary of Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur, earlier this week, the 4th Infantry Division said yesterday.
Lt. Tere Ingente, 4ID spokesperson, said a 403rd Brigade report bared that elements of the 65IB recovered the sacks of rice at about 2 pm Monday, a day after an encounter with the Maoist guerrillas in the same area.
According to Lt. Col. Richard Rabaca, 65IB commanding officer, the sacks of rice were probably gathered by the rebels through their intimidation and extortion in the farming community in Sitio Pinilayan.
“We condemn the CPP-NPA terrorists for such a treacherous act of collecting and keeping voluminous amount of rice while the poor families in that area suffer from hunger,” Rabaca said.
For his part, Brigadier Gen. Eric Vinoya, 403rd Brigade commanding officer, encouraged the farming communities in the hinterlands to cooperate with the government.
“We encourage everyone to continuously cooperate with your state security forces so that in no time, we will be able to liberate our communities from the threats of intimidation, extortion, murder, arson, and forced recruitment of the CPP-NPA terrorists,” said Vinoya.