NPA rebels attack Negros solar farm
BACOLOD CITY – Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked a solar farm in Barangay Tinampa-an, Cadiz, Negros Occidental on Thursday night.
At least 90 solar panels and a closed-circuit television camera were destroyed by around 17 NPA guerrillas armed with high-powered guns and hand grenades. Damage was placed at P3.1 million.
Lt. Col. Darrell Banez, 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said 109 bullet shells for various firearms and two firing pins of hand grenades were recovered at the scene.
The solar farm, which is owned by the Helios Solar Energy Corp., is said to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. It was developed under a partnership of Gregorio Araneta Inc. and Soleq, one of Southeast Asia’s largest solar independent power producers.
The 132.5-megawatt solar generation facility was inaugurated last March.
Cadiz City Mayor Patrick Escalante said the rebels reportedly tried to extort money from the management of the company.
Soldiers of the 62nd IB in coordination with the 6th Special Action and Regional Public Safety Battalions of the Philippine National Police launched pursuit operations for the rebels.
Escalante urged the public to report sightings of armed men in their areas to prevent similar incidents.
Provincial government officials and employees participate in a cleanup drive in Lingayen, Pangasinan on Friday.