PNP assails NPA over Lepanto raid

>> Thursday, June 22, 2017

MANKAYAN, Benguet – The regional police command assailed the New People’s Army under the Chadli Molintas Command for destroying properties with explosives and wounding a member of the Philippine Army and a civilian around 10:50 p.m. on June 7at the dam area of Lepanto Mining Corp. here
The incident was relayed to police through phone call by a concerned citizen informing that the chemical and mineral laboratory owned by Xian Jinrui Lianliungang at Cabatuan, Colalo and Dam 5 Gate were under attack followed by a firefight between the alleged NPA members and personnel from the 54th IB, 5th ID, Philippine Army based in said areas.
 Mankayan police led by PCI Ronnie O. Albino and members of Benguet provincial police security company led by Supt. Edward Aquintey went to Cabatuan, Colalo by foot and arrived there around 4 a.m. of June 8.
They found a newly built municipal structure, one backhoe owned by barangay chairman Ambino Padawi and a floating machine for processing copper owned by Jian Lianlungang destroyed with the use of explosives.
Investigation conducted revealed the armed men and an amazon arrived in the area and exploded said equipment with the use of explosives.
 The chief security officer of Lepanto Mining Division told police a lime mixing plant and one bulldozer owned by Flores Construction were destroyed by explosives while two unexploded bombs were left in the bulldozer and backhoe.
 Two security guards posted at Dam 5 Gate and quarry area said suspects approached them and took their hand-held radio with charger, hunting knife and pistol holder and tied them with packing tape.
Later, they exploded the bomb that was planted on the backhoe and carbon in pulp facility in Cabatuan identifying themselves as members of the NPA to the guard posted at the quarry area.
 They also fired upon six members of the Philippine Army who were deployed at the Dam 5 Field Office that led to a short firefight.
As a result, PFC Arthur Bag-ay, 38, of Gobgob, Tabuk, Kalinga was injured on his nape caused by shrapnel while Jerson Guisguiswoang Awini, 26, of Paalaban, Paco, was hit by a stray bullet on his right thigh.
Awini was brought to Lepanto Hospital but later referred to the Luis Hora Hospital in Abatan, Bauko, Mt. Province and is now in stable condition.
The caretaker of the CIP said the armed men were looking for Padawi. Despite the plea of the caretaker not to destroy the CIP because it is the only source of their living, the rebel group reportedly destroyed said facility as it was the property of Padawi.
 The NPA admitted they were responsible for the destruction of heavy equipment and structures at Lepanto Mining Corp. through press statement of the Chadli Molintas Command.

The NPA said it was their retribution to the big mining companies and government for protecting mining companies.


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