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Mayor seeks mountain villagers’ support vs. NPAs

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A town mayor in Sultan Kudarat province asked his constituents in the mountain villages on Friday to alert police authorities about the presence of “new faces” in their communities.

“This is to avoid a repeat of the January 7 burning of construction equipment in Barangay Hinalaan by communist rebels,” Mayor Ronan Garcia of Kalamansig, a coastal town of Sultan Kudarat province, said over a local radio station.

“Report new faces in your sitios as they may be rebels out to create trouble in your communities. Report right away,” Garcia said in the vernacular.

“Security measures are in place in partnership with the police, Philippine Marines and local officials,” Garcia said, adding that those behind the burning of eight heavy equipment in Barangay Hinalaan on Monday were not from the area but from nearby towns in Sarangani province.

Following the burning of a grader heavy equipment, cement mixer and dump trucks, the road construction firm, Janmerc Construction Corp., decided to temporarily cease working on the road project.

Garcia noted that the incident will have an impact on the development projects in Kalamansig but insisted it is temporary.

“In due time, the road will be completed,” he said.

Supt. Aldrin Gonzales, speaking for the Police Regional Office 12 (Soccsksargen), said the communist rebels were demanding revolutionary tax from the construction firm but was ignored.

Police estimated the cost of damages to equipment at PHP33 million. (PNA)

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