Unidentified suspects set ablaze early Tuesday morning a backhoe owned by Goldrock Construction Development Company in Ibangley, Brgy. Abongan in the town of Taytay, the provincial police said.
A spot report shared to the media by the Palawan Police Provincial Office (PPO) through its spokesperson, P/Maj. Ric Ramos, claimed that the incident happened approximately 3:40 a.m. on March 7.
PPO commander P/Col. Adonis Guzman told Palawan News initially that they received the information about the torching incident shortly before 8 a.m.
“Pinapa validate na natin agad kung totoo nga o hindi, baka mamaya kuwento kuwento lang yan kasi baka mamaya may anu-ano lang sa tropa. Kaya pinapa validate natin,” Guzman said.
The backhoe is being utilized by Goldrock in a road expansion project, according to the PPO. It was reportedly partially burnt by unidentified suspects.
“The amount of damages and the motive is to be determined. Joint personnel of Taytay MPS together with PMFC, RMFB and intel operatives in coordination with AFP counterpart are now conducting investigation and hot pursuit operations. All MPS and PMFC were directed to conduct checkpoint to possibly trapped the perpetrators,” the PPO stated.
WESCOM spokesperson Col. Ariel Coloma cautioned residents in the area against speculating that the incident is tied to the New People’s Army (NPA).
Coloma said they have initial details, but they’re still probing the identities of the perpetrators through Joint Task Force Peacock (JTFP) and Marine Battalion Landing Team-3.
“Inaalam namin ngayong kung related ba ito—yong mga NPA na atrocities. Hindi rin namin ma confirm, di rin namin matanggal yong possibility na baka galing nga sa kanila yong atrocities, but posible rin kasi, there is an initial assessment na hindi related sa NPA yong pagsunog,” Coloma said.
“That’s why we need to confirm muna kung ano talaga ang reason at sino ang perpetrators. Wag muna tayong mag-conclude agad na related sa NPA yong nangyari,” he said.
The Joint Palawan Provincial Task Force ELCAC (PTF-ELCAC) and the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) declared Palawan insurgency-free in a resolution dated December 2, 2022.