NPA rebels at­tack Ne­gros so­lar farm

The Philippine Star - - NATION - – Gil­bert Bay­oran

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.

CE­SAR RAMIREZ

Pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees par­tic­i­pate in a cleanup drive in Lin­gayen, Pan­gasi­nan on Fri­day.

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