By Ben Serrano,
BUTUAN City — About 20 New People’s Army combatants attacked on Saturday, at around 5:40 pm, the compound of the proposed site for the 10.6 megawatt Pulanai Hydroelectric Power Plant at Zone 11, Hangaron, Barangay Lumbayao, an outskirt community of Valencia City.
The Maoist guerrillas reportedly seized mobile phones of power plant compound’s personnel and workers and ordered the workers to leave the compound.
According to witnesses, the NPAs fired several shots after laying improvised explosive devices around the compound.
Col Antonio Bautista Jr, 8th Infantry Battalion commanding officer immediately sent troops including their Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to go after the armed group and to carefully recover the planted bombs.
Last Dec. 10, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte graced the groundbreaking ceremony of the Pulanai hydropower plant owned and operated by Repower Energy Development Corporation. It is one of the power-generation facilities that is envisioned to boost the economic activity in the area.
In another development, at around 10 pm of the same day, another NPA group burned down two spray trucks owned by Davco Agri Venture Corporation in Baranga Merangiran, Quezon town in Bukidnon.
According to 4th Infantry Division spokesperson Capt. Patrick Martinez, the company’s refusal to give-in to the NPA’s extortion demand was the reason behind the attack.
Police Regional Office 10 spokesperson Supt. Lemuel Gonda said that aside from burning three heavy equipment, the rebels confiscated the shotgun service firearms of the security guards and their mobile phones.
4ID Commander Major Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr denounced the recent attacks and promised that there will be no let-up on the pursuit operations against the guerrillas.