Thursday, October 20, 2011

NPA rebels raid Japanese fruit firm in the Philippines

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 20, 2011) – Communist rebels raided early Thursday a Japanese fruit firm in the southern Philippines, burning equipment and ransacked its arsenal, officials said.

Officials said more two dozen New People’s Army rebels attacked the main compound of Sumifru Corporation at around 4:20 a.m. in the village of Kapatagan in Compostela Valley’s Laak town after overpowering guards.

“They torched equipment and ran away with the company’s shotguns and revolvers. There were no reports of casualties,” Army Captain Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel, of the 10th Infantry Division, told the Mindanao Examiner.

She said the rebel commandeered a truck during their escape in the nearby village of Dalimdim.

Army Lieutenant Colonel Lyndon Paniza condemned the attack and branded the rebel group as terrorist. He said troops were deployed to track down the raiders.

“The vicinities of Sumifru in Laak town is not a military compound, but an area of civilian populace. There is no military camp nearby to make it a target. The attack clearly shows the NPA is a terrorist group. Economic sabotage is one of their intent,” he said.

Sumifru Corporation is a joint venture with the giant Sumitomo Corporation and employs over 30,000 employees in the Philippines. It is engaged in sourcing, production, shipment, distribution, and marketing of fresh fruits especially bananas, pineapples and papayas.

Just this month, more than 200 rebels also raided three mining firms Tag-anito High-Pressure Acid Leaching (THPAL-Sumitomo), Tag-anito Mining Corporation (TMC), and the Platinum Gold Metal Corporation (PGMC) in the town of Claver in Surigao del Norte province in the southern Philippines.

The raids were in retaliation for the human rights abuses committed by the mining firms against local tribesmen, peasants and workers.

The NPA has been fighting the government for decades for the establishment of a communist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

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