THE Police Regional Office 12 headed by Chief Superintendent Eliseo T. Rasco yesterday condemned the New People’s Army’s burning of a day care center in Magpet, North Cotabato in retaliation for the failure of the local village chief to heed their P50,000 monetary demand.
“We are condemning in the strongest possible terms the recent burning of the day care center in Bgy. Mahonghong, Magpet, North Cotabato which is another cowardly act committed by the NPA,” Rasco said in a statement.
Rasco said some 25 heavily-armed rebels belonging to the NPA Guerrilla Front 53 were involved in the arson attack around 8 a.m. on Thursday.
The armed rebels, disguised as members of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion by wearing Army uniforms, gathered all volunteer workers in the day care facility then tied them with ropes before pouring petrol on the center and setting it on fire.
Rasco said the rebels had demanded P50,000 as “revolutionary tax” from the local barangay officials and when the demand was rejected, the rebels torched the day care center.
“The burning of the day care center is a clear manifestation of their (NPA) ill-willed principle that would only lead to heinous activities,” Rasco stressed.
“This atrocity only shows that the NPA is a solid terrorist group that is initially claiming to have been liberating the Filipinos from corrupt leaders but happens to have been committing extortion and threatening civilians in reality,” Rasco added.
Rasco told reisdents of SOCCSKSARGEN that the NPA will only bring them further misery. The soldiers and police officers are tracking down the suspects.