End to rebels’ harassment, corruption of govt men sought

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: The local Catholic Church and the provincial government leadership here appealed to rebel groups to stop “burning” construction equipment and “harassing” businessmen while at the same time calling on government officials and private firms to stop their “corrupt practices.”

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Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg and Gov. Manuel Mamba, issued a joint statement after the recent burning of a private contractor’s equipment being used for a government road project in Alcala and Baggao towns.

On March 26, at least four road building equipment were burned by about 15 gunmen who attacked a motor pool owned by Pulsar Construction Company (PCC) in Barangay Calantac, Alcala.

The gunmen who claimed to be members of the New People’s Army also took with them communication equipment.

As a result, the PCC pulled out several of its equipment and personnel from the project, delaying its completion.

The joint statement was read over the local radio station by Father Garry Agcaoili, vicar general of Tuguegarao Archdiocese.

“We ask the Henry Abraham Command under the Fortunato Camus Command of the CPP-NPA [Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army]-Cagayan Valley to refrain from harassing construction personnel and burning construction equipment,” it said.

“We also ask construction firms, the local politicians and government functionaries especially the DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways] to stop their corrupt practices in relation to the construction of roads and bridges,” the statement added.

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