Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members burned heavy equipment of a wood company controlled by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s family and tried to attack its plant in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, police reported.

Fully-armed men burned a grader, backhoe, and ten-wheeler truck owned by Casilayan Softwood Development Corp. at Purok 1, Brgy. San Salvador, around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Caraga regional police spokesman Supt. Martin Gamba said.

The suspects, numbering about 80, were led by an alias Eman and are believed to be members of the NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee’s Guerilla Front 19, Gamba said.

Members of the Agusan del Sur Provincial Police, Provincial Public Safety Company, Prosperidad Police, and the PNP Special Action Force went to the area to investigate the incident and pursue the rebels.

It was learned that the rebels’ “main target” was Casilayan Softwood Development Corp.’s vinyl plant, which is only about 500 meters away from the heavy equipment, Gamba said.

Upon learning that government troops were about to arrive, the rebels withdrew towards Sitio Maitum, Brgy. San Martin, according to the regional police spokesman.

Casilayan Softwood is the “forest plantation management” venture of the conglomerate JAKA Group of Companies, where Sen. Enrile’s wife Cristina Castañer and daughter Katrina serve as chairperson and chief executive officer, respectively. (John Roson)

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