MANILA, Philippines — Communist rebels carried out simultaneous attacks on two factories and a ranch owned by the Lorenzo family in Davao City early Friday morning, torching buildings and disarming private security guards.
A brief statement from Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesman of the New People’s Army’s Southern Mindanao Regional Operation Command, said guerrillas from the Pulang Bagani Battalion attacked the box plants of Lapanday Foods Corp. in Barangay Mandug, Buhangin district; the Macondray Plastics Inc. plant in Barangay Bunawan, Panacan district; and a Lorenzo-owed ranch in Barangay Pangyan, Calinan district.
He said the guerrillas seized the pistols of the guards at the two Lapanday box plants before setting fire to equipment, although a photo from independent media outfit Kilab Multimedia showed that the flames had apparently spread and eaten up at least one building.
News reports said up to 80 guerrillas took part in the Mandug raid.
A similar raid was carried out on the Macondray plant, where guards were also disarmed and the facility torched, while another rebel unit seized three high-powered firearms from guards at the ranch, Sanchez said.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of the President, posted photos on social media of a fish vendor she said was wounded when the rebels detonated an improvised explosive device. In one of the posts, she lashed at the rebels for harming the civilian.
Kilab also posted a photo of an armored personnel carrier of Task Force Davao immobilized after a rebel IED punctured its tires as the vehicle was responding to the attack in Mandug.
The raids came a week after the Department of Agrarian Reform failed to install a group of beneficiaries on land in Barangay Madaum, Tagum City where Lapanday is cultivating a banana plantation, the same property where private security guards opened fire on the farmers late last year, wounding seven of them.
The failure of the installation was blamed on the police’s refusal to assist DAR.