NPA burns equip­ment at air­port

Tempo - - Front Page - By NIÑO N. LUCES

DARAGA, Al­bay – At least 11 con­struc­tion equip­ment, in­clud­ing sev­eral trucks, were among those de­stroyed at a con­struc­tion site at the Bi­col In­ter­na­tional Air­port af­ter these were burned down by sus­pected New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA) gueril­las, Thurs­day night.

Chief In­spec­tor Arthur Gomez of the Al­bay PPO enu­mer­ated the dam­aged units as in­clud­ing five dump trucks, one mini dump truck, one dou­ble cub, one grader, one mixer, one tele­scopic crane and one owner type jeep.

Gomez said a de­tach­ment of the Philip­pine Army lo­cated some 2 kilo­me­ters away from the con­struc­tion site at Brgy. Alobo and a pla­toon of the Al­bay PPSC, lo­cated 3 kilo­me­ters away at Brgy. Bas­caran, were also ha­rassed by the rebels dur­ing the same time pe­riod.

In an in­ter­view, Ernesto Re­sponde, Jr., fore­man of E.M. Cuerpo, Inc., a part­ner in the air­port con­struc­tion site, said the at­tack hap­pened at about 8:20 p.m. on Thurs­day.

He re­lated, “May lu­mu­sob sa amin na aabot sa 30 na mga lalaki na ar­mado ng ma­ha­ha­bang baril. Sa takot ko, tu­makbo ako ng malayo. ‘Yung mga tra­ba­hador namin, du’n kasi sila natu­tu­log sa dump truck, pin­ababa at pinadapa at saka si­n­unog ‘yung mga equip­ment na gi­nagamit namin dito sa con­struc­tion ng air­port.” On Fri­day morn­ing, Al­bay 2nd District Con­gress­man Joey Sal­ceda is­sued a state­ment con­demn­ing the in­ci­dent.

“So sad, so bad. An­other big set­back af­ter 12 years of ef­fort. But we are not giv­ing up. We ask the AFP and PNP to fully se­cure the on­go­ing con­struc­tion of the Bi­col Int’l Air­port in Daraga now on its fi­nal stage – the pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nal build­ing. We re­main hope­ful and the en­tire gov­ern­ment is res­o­lute that the Pres­i­dent’s com­mit­ment of its com­ple­tion in three years will still be met by early 2020. This flag­ship project is a pil­lar of our de­vel­op­ment as­pi­ra­tions since tourism is our big­gest po­ten­tial,” he said.

(Niño Luces)

SOME of the con­struc­tion equip­ment burned by sus­pected New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA) rebels at a con­struc­tion site at the Bi­col In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Al­bay.

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