DAVAO CITY – Communist rebels raided the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte in southern Philippines and bombed a factory before escaping in several vehicles in a daring attack before sunrise that injured a security guard.
Heavily-armed rebels from the New People’s Army arrived in several vehicles and disguised as government soldiers and members of the National Bureau of Investigation and immediately disarmed the security guards. One of them was shot after he tried put up a fight.
The rebels, numbering at least two dozens, quickly poured gasoline and planted improvised explosives inside the huge compound and detonated them before fleeing from the area. It was unknown how the rebels managed to sneak into the city without being detected by soldiers and policemen manning numerous checkpoints and roadblocks along the way to the factory.
The raid occurred just as factory workers were protesting against the Lapanday Foods Corporation. And television pictures showed the compound burning with black smokes billowing from inside the factory.
Presidential daughter and current mayor of Davao, Sarah Duterte-Carpio, branded the attack both as insulting and acts of terrorism as she strongly condemned the raid.
“The attacks perpetrated by the New People's Army today in Davao City are acts of terrorism. I take what happened today as a personal insult especially because the local government of Davao City has been supportive of the peace negotiations between the national government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines...And because I have repeatedly offered to talk peace with the members of the NPA within Davao City,” the mayor said.
“We condemn these acts committed by a group that pretends to champion social justice and equality. With its history of carrying out atrocities and its continued penchant for lawlessness and bloodbath, the NPA is an organization that is not worthy of our trust and respect,” she added.
There was no immediate statement from President Duterte or Jesus Dureza, his peace adviser, over the attack which occurred ahead of the resumption of peace talks with rebels in the coming months. The rebels have been fighting for separate state since the early 60s and the insurgency in the Philippines is the longest in the world. (Mindanao Examiner)