EDITORS NOTE: This article has been corrected to rectify the identification by the police of “Melvin Ibanez” as a former board member.
Kabankalan locals have informed DNX that the Melvin Ibanez who owns the quarry is the namesake of the former fifth district board member.
Police chief Lt. Col. Raymond Cruz has rectified the error, saying they had the identity double checked and have verified the information to be true.
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Armed men who identified themselves as rebels torched heavy equipment in a quarry site in the south here as a giant sugar miller tightened security around its distillery after it reported the discovery of improvised dynamites.
In the southern city of Kabankalan, police said the watchman of a quarry owned by Melvin Ibanez told probers at least 20 armed men all dressed in black went inside the site around 8pm on 2 March 2022 and told him they were looking for the equipment of someone named Emmanuel.
The incident happened in the sub-village of Nandong in Orong, an upland community in the city around 100 kilometers south of here.
Kabankalan police chief Lt. Col. Raymond Cruz told DNX the armed men “said they are members of the CTG (Communist Terrorist Group)” or the New People’s Army, he said, when asked to clarify what particular group.
He even added the rebels are under the “Mt. Cansermon Command,” the self-styled name the rebels in the south call their group in its press releases.
Cruz said the son of the owner of the torched backhoe confirmed to him they have been receiving letters demanding revolutionary taxes they did not pay.
Up north, in the town of Manapla, corporate guards of Victorias Milling Company reported the discovery of two improvised explosives inside a sugarcane field near the firm’s alcohol distillery plant in hacienda Candelaria in Purisima village.
Acting town police chief, Captain Jaynick Bermudez reported to provincial police chief, Col. Robert Pamittan that the discovery of explosives was in the morning of 26 February 2022.
Bermudez said a guard, Jose Mario Doromal, found the two improvised explosives inside the sugarcane field around 500 meters from the distillery power plant.
A photo sent by VICMICO’s publicist showed what looked like to be improvised explosives, one a used long-neck rum bottle, the other an empty softdrink bottle, both with what looks like improvised wicks.
The incident came after a recent protest action against the firm that led to the filing of charges by Vicmico against some town residents.