Rebels kill 2 Del Monte workers in Bukidnon raid
MANILA, Philippines – Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed two civilians during a raid on a plantation of Del Monte Philippines Incorporated (DMPI) in Quezon, Bukidnon, military officials said.
The NPA under the South-Central Bukidnon (NPA-SCB) Sub-Regional Command raided the compound of Kiantig Development Corporation (KDC) – a Del Monte pineapple grower – in Sitio Kiantig, Barangay San Jose on Tuesday, July 15.
The military said the NPA killed two civilians – security guard Rey Baylon and warehouse caretaker Reynald Pangkat. They allegedly took 17 firearms, and burned a tractor and 4 motorcycles belonging to farm workers.
Major Christian Uy, the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division spokesperson, said the rebels also burned down the plantation’s chemical warehouse and workers' bunkhouses.
Uy said that the 10th Infantry Division is conducting clearing operations in Quezon, Bukidnon.
Allan Juanito of the NPA-North Central Mindanao Regional Command said in a statement that the rebel group is punishing Del Monte for its alleged “massive criminal culpability.”
“Firstly, its outgrower, Poling Lorenzo, who aggressively seeks to expand the plantation, is a land grabber. Using his armed guards, he harassed the legitimate claimants of the land he targets for expansion. Even nuns, students and supporters of the peasant claimants had a taste of strafing from Lorenzo rabid guards,” Juanito claimed.
He also accused DMPI of violating labor laws.
The attack took place hours after more than 100 NPA rebels simultaneously attacked targets in Agusan del Sur province.
On February 19, 2013, the NPA stormed the DMPI motor pool garage in Manolo Fortich town, the Del Monte fertilizer warehouse and logistics office in Sumilao town, and the Dole Philippines office in Impasug-ong – all in Bukidnon. (READ: NPA raid a warning to plantations – NDF)
The 2013 plantation attacks killed one security guard and wounded two others.
DMPI, a leading producer of pineapple and other food products, prides itself as having “the largest integrated pineapple operation in the world.”
According to its official website, DMPI has 20,000 hectares of pineapple plantations in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. – Rappler.com