Armed men attack Agusan rubber plantation, destroy 12,000 trees
by Mike Crismundo
Published in mb.com.ph
Butuan City – At least 12,000 fully grown rubber trees were destroyed by suspected communist insurgents in an attack on a plantation at Sitio Kaunlaran, Barangay San Antonio in Remedios Trinidad Romualdez town in Agusan del Norte over the weekend, police said yesterday.
Sketchy reports reaching Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez here said heavily armed men swooped down on a rubber plantation shortly before mid-night on Saturday, disarmed the guards and took their firearms.
The men chopped down the rubber trees, set fire on the warehouse, and destroyed farm equipment, the reports said.
“Our regional intelligence and investigation division is still conducting an investigation of the said incident as massive pursuit operation is also ongoing,” said Supt. Romaldo G. Bayting, Police Regional Office 13 public information officer.
“Millions of pesos were already lost to these terroristic activities of the armed group, and I hope the government authorities will immediately solve this problem,” said the owner of the plantation, who requested anonymity.
The attack on the rubber plantation closely followed the attack on a banana plantation by suspected members of the New People’s Army at Purok 4, Barangay Dona Rosario, Tubay, Agusan del Norte.
A spray airplane of Philippine Agricultural Aviation Corporation rented by Del Monte Corporation parked at Hangar Airstrip owned by Alberto Malpore Soriano was burned during the attack.
The group of men who were masked and wore black sweat shirts with PNP markings and fatigues disarmed the security guards at the plantation before setting fire to the plane.
After the incident, the perpetrators fled to nearby mountain. Nobody was hurt during the attack.