Some 50 unidentified armed men and two women believed to be members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) burned down some P3 million worth of heavy equipment at the Longa Hermosa Hacienda in Barangay Sta. Monica, Manjuyod town in Negros Oriental on Monday night.
The suspects set fire to five tractors and a Trio weapon carrier around 7:35 p.m., according to the police.
Authorities said they received a call from Martin Longa, 54, married, barangay captain of Sta. Monica and also hacienda supervisor, who reported that armed men were in the vicinity of his house.
A witness, Rey Acibo Baldado, 45, married, also a resident of the barangay, claimed that while he was on duty inside the compound of the hacienda, the suspects suddenly entered and pointed a long firearm at him.
They introduced themselves in the Cebuano dialect as NPA members and asked for the barangay captain, the police report said.
The suspects then proceeded to Longa’s house, pointed a gun at him, and in the dialect also asked him for his firearm and “ngano wala mo nihatag ug kwarta” (why did you not give us money)?
Longa later told the police that he had previously received phone calls from unknown persons who threatened him for not paying revolutionary tax to the NPA.
He added that in the past nine years, he has received two extortion letters, one of which demanded P500,000.
He said he turned over the latest letter to the hacienda’s board manager, Ignacio Longa Vicente, 89, married, and a resident of Barangay Lapas, Bais City in Negros Oriental.
He further told the police that the suspects took his two cellular phones, two hand-held radios, and a Wi-Fi modem.
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.* (Mary Judaline Partlow, PNA via NDB)