NPA destroys Surigao Norte prawn farm after failed extortion
By Alexander Lopez / Philippine News Agency
BUTUAN CITY – The refusal to give in to the extortion demand of the New People’s Army (NPA) was the reason behind the destruction of a prawn farm in Malimono, Surigao del Norte.
In a statement issued Sunday, Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office chief Col. Noel Espinosa said some PHP8.5-million worth of cultured prawns were destroyed when NPA rebels opened the water gates of a prawn farm on Saturday in Purok 1, Barangay Pili.
Espinosa said the culprits were the members of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16B of Guerrilla Front 16 of the NPA’s North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.
“The NPA rebels who destroyed the prawn farm were led by Gela Ybañez or alias Zanjo or Weng,” Espinosa revealed. “Refusal to give in to the CTGs’ (communist terrorist groups) extortion demand is the possible motive of this attack.”
The still undetermined number of NPA insurgents took a worker to the prawn pond and ordered the opening of water gates of at least five ponds.
They headed towards a mountainous portion of Barangay Pili after seeing the destruction.
Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., the Police Regional Office-Caraga director, said in a separate statement they are already pursuing the rebels.
He said the destruction of the farm was another desperate move following the series of surrender of their former members and supporters.
He also reminded business operators in the Caraga Region not to give in to extortion demands.
“Giving any amount of money or providing any kind of support will further escalate the terroristic activities of the NPA insurgents, including the killings of innocent civilians and the destruction of properties,” he stated.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)