Balingasag, Misamis Oriental – Last Monday, 06 March 2017, a small group of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels burned down a truck at Sitio Solo, Barangay San Juan in Misamis Oriental. This occurred on the same day President Rodrigo Duterte declared his openness to revive the peace talks with the communist rebels, after their cancellation last February 2017.
The attack was an apparent effort by the NPA to divert the attention of the military conducting operations in the area. The burned vehicle was a red tanker owned by one Andot Madronero, who provides services for Del Monte Philippines, Inc.
Spokesperson for the 58th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Janelle Diaz said that this was a diversionary tactic to ease military pressure on their rebel-comrades in the Kaulayanan Area, where massive military operations are being conducted. Diaz speculated, too, that the act was to force the government to resume the peace talks.
The troops of the 58th Infantry Battalion in coordination with the Philippine National Police are currently pursuing the NPA rebels.