BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – An Army division official has reminded businessmen in the province to immediately report extortion attempts from Communist rebels and to not negotiate with them or “play” a dangerous game with the New People’s Army (NPA).
Third Division spokesman Cenon Pancito III told DNX businessmen can immediately report to the Army attempts to extort from them.
“We ask them to cooperate with us,” Pancito said as he added most businessmen don’t report to the Army right away as soon as they receive feelers from the rebels.
What happens is that the Army will only learn of the extortion activity if rebels destroy the properties of businessmen.
“We become simply reactive,” he said.
Pancito issued the request to businessman after the rebels through its northern Negros command admitted to burning heavy equipment in a quarry site.
Damage was estimated at around P15 million.