The Roselyn Pelle Command of the New People's Army Northern Negros Guerilla Front has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Lopez Sugar Corp, transloading station in Brgy. Mabini, Escalante City, stressing that it failed to comply with its obligation to pay revolutionary taxes.
Cecil Estrella, spokesperson of the RPC, said in a statement it furnished the DAILY STAR, that the assault at the transloading station, turned out to be a success despite “massive military operations” of the Philippine Army in northern Negros, as the NPA controlled the whole area in just matter of minutes.
This was the second time that NPA rebels have destroyed the facilities of the sugar mill, where the suspects used Improvised Explosive Devices or homemade bombs, police investigations showed.
Estrella said it was not simple diversionary tactics of a weakened force of the RPC-NPA, contrary to the claims of Lt. Col. Cordova, 62 nd Infantry Battalion commander, but a stronger force capable of implementing its political authority anytime in northern Negros.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon had earlier called on the management of sugar mills and other firms in Negros Occidental not to the give in to rebels' extortion activities.
Estrella said the rebel unit tasked to stage the raid, ensured that not a single civilian was hurt, while using the “command-detonated explosives”, the use of which is justified under the Ottawa Treaty.
Damaged by the explosions were a crane and the core sampler laboratory, that is used to determine the quality of the sugarcane, a platform weighing scale, while a gas pump station was riddled with bullets by rebels, police investigations also showed.
On March 16, 2008, the NPA also burned and destroyed the transloading stations of Lopez Sugar Central and Victorias Milling Company in Brgy. San Jose, Toboso.*GPB.
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