(UPDATED) NPA attacks Del Monte, Dole in Bukidnon; NDF: leave, stop expansions

A famous Camp Phillips Landmark after the incident.|Photo courtesy of Alvin Bautista Cempron (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=600465463300877&set=pcb.600471309966959&type=1&theater)

A famous Camp Phillips Landmark after the incident.|Photo courtesy of Alvin Bautista Cempron (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=600465463300877&set=pcb.600471309966959&type=1&theater)

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.net/19 February) About 100 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) attacked the main compound of Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) in Camp Phillips, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

The attack reportedly left a security guard killed and 3 others wounded, including a civilian.

Bukidnon. Gov. Alex Calingasan confirmed the report and relayed information that the rebels launched simultaneous attacks early evening Tuesday.

The main target was the DMPI compound where a water tanker and two personnel carrier vehicles were reported burned. The rebels also attacked the Dole Phils. compound in La Fortuna, Impasugong town near the Atugan bridge where about 30 armed men snatched two shot guns from the guard on duty.

The rebels reportedly disarmed 3 policemen from Manolo Fortich who were on their way to respond to the incident in La Fortuna, according to a message Calingasan forwarded to Bukidnon News.

The governor’s text message said the rebels used two forward trucks, two passenger vans, and two motorcycles to retreat to the direction of Dahilayan and nearby areas.

The Bukidnon Provincial Police Office and a DMPI official said they are still confirming reports of casualties.

Hundreds of motorists and commuters were stranded in the stretch of about 78 kilometers of the Sayre Hiway, from Puerto in Cagayan de Oro to Kalasungay in Malaybalay City.

There were reports both the NPA and police set up roadblocks along the highway. Bukidnon board member Jay Albarece said there were iron bar spikes or suyak along the road from Cagayan de Oro preventing traffic.

Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, National Democratic Front (NDF) Mindanao spokesperson owned the attack as that of the NPA over an interview at Magnum FM Cdo Tuesday evening.

He said that the NPA did it to send message that DMPI has to stop operations, blaming the firm for the big damage brought by tropical storm Sendong to Cagayan de Oro.

Madlos cited that “pineapple plantations in Bukidnon” worsened the impact of the storm in 2011.

He said that the DMPI and Dole Phils. are the same MNCs (multinational corporations) who allegedly abused laborers, amassed large plantation areas that could have been subjected to land reform, and damaged the environment.

“This is our way to search for justice for the Sendong victims,” he added.

Madlos warned of more attacks if DMPI and other agri companies do not heed their call for moratorium of expansion of plantations.

“If they agree not to expand their areas, we might reconsider the attacks.”

Madlos cited the fast expansion of the two plantations.

He added Sumifru, another agri plantation in the list. He said the firms should vacate the areas so it can b subjected to land reform.

He said the NPA “punitive actions” appear to be the only way to stop the unabated expansion as the government is not able to stop it.

Madlos apologized for the passengers who were stranded citing the roadblocks were a “necessity” to prevent military reinforcement.

Police sources said pursuit operations were on going. P/C Insp. Edwin Mondalo, chief of operations and planning at Bukidnon Police Provincial Office (BPPO) said the situation is still critical as the areas where they could possibly retrieve are also critical. (Walter I. Balane/BukidnonNews.net)