CAGAYAN Gov. Manuel Mamba expressed concern over the “unfriendly” activities of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) recently which may shoo away investors helping to boost the province’s economy.
Mamba’s apprehension stemmed from the burning of heavy equipment of Manila-based multinational DDT Konstract in Barangay Dungeg, Santa Teresita town last Saturday.
“It is saddening that these rebels are causing violence which may bring fear among patriotic investors who wanted so much to help uplift the standard of living among Cagayanos,” he said.
Mamba said DDT Konstract, owned by Danilo Tamayo, has invested billions of pesos in projects relating to food security, particularly in fisheries, and employing more than 300 residents from Santa Teresita, Buguey and Gonzaga towns.
The governor said there are now many prospective investors in the province and “it would be regrettable if the leftist group continues to sow fear through violence and extremely wicked and cruel acts which will drive them away.”
The Henry Abraham Command–NPA East Cagayan admitted they burned two backhoes and a dump truck of DDT Konstract that were used in quarrying which they accused of affecting the irrigation system in the villages of Dungeg, Masi and Mission in Santa Teresita town.
However, it was learned that quarrying was being done to dredge a heavily silted river in the area and residents had no complaint against the project.
Meanwhile, the NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command in Western Visayas accused Mayor Magdaleno Peña of Moises Padilla town of allegedly “spreading terror” among town folks.
In a statement sent to local media in Bacolod, rebel spokesman Ka JB Regalado condemned Peña for trying to “take control” of local residents.
Regalado claimed the mayor prevailed upon Vice Mayor Ella Garcia Yulo in order to shut out any opposition along with using “goons” to extort from businessmen of the town and grab land.
Regalado added, Peña was behind the raid on the house of Senior Police Officer 1 Joshua Barile last month, allegedly in revenge over the policemen’s raid of the mayor’s ancestral home which yielded several high-powered firearms.
Peña dismissed the NPA claims as lies.
He said he ordered the removal of Yulo’s bodyguards who were involved in criminal activities, including alleged drug dealings in Moises Padilla and the nearby towns.
Peña also criticized the NPA for not doing anything against the criminals in the upland areas.
with EUGENE ADIONG