A group believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels burned a backhoe early Tuesday morning in a remote village in Occidental Mindoro after its owner refused to pay protection money.
Police reports said on Wednesday the backhoe belonged to Firmabuilt, a construction company owned by a certain Engr. Arnulfo Novilla.
The heavy equipment, worth at least P2million, was being used in building a bridge in Sitio Magat, Barangy San Pedro, Rizal town.
Workers saw the backhoe, which was parked near the bridge, on fire and called for police.
Police said Novilla had received text message from a certain “Rocky” demanding that he pay “revolutionary taxes” for all of his projects in the province.
Novilla refused to pay, the reports said.
Police recovered two wooden sticks tied with cloth and the plastic cap of a container, which are believed to have been used by the group.