Gov’t forces step up manhunt for raiders of construction firm » Manila Bulletin News

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By Mike U. Crismundo

Government security forces yesterday widened their hot pursuit operations against an undetermined number of lawless elements who burned the heavy equipment of a construction firm in Surigao del Norte.

Chief Supt. Rolando B. Felix, regional director of Northeastern Mindanao Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) also said the regional and provincial mobile forces and Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office (PPO) are assisting the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion in hunting down the suspects who destroyed one crane and one backhoe in Sitio Baoy, Barangay San Isidro, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.

The undetermined number of perpetrators arrived on foot from an unknown origin and immediately put to torch the said heavy equipment at 4 a.m. on Thursday, said Surigao del Norte PPO director Antony B. Maghari in his initial report.

 The crane was blasted by an improvised explosive device while the backhoe was poured with crude oil, it said.

 The damaged construction equipment belong to Concepcion Basic Builders Inc., which is currently conducting government infrastructure projects in Surigao del Norte.

 The perpetrators immediately fled after damaging the said equipment.

Siargao Island map (L) and Surigao Del Norte map (Google Maps | Manila Bulletin)

 None of the construction workers was reported hurt during the incident.

 “Our men on the ground are still conducting a thorough investigation on the motive of the incident and identities of the perpetrators,” the region’s police chief said.

 Damage to the said heavy equipment is still being assessed and validated by the management of the said construction firm, he said.

 Gigaquit Municipal Police Station and Surigao del Norte PPO are still investigating the incident.

 Felix ordered Maghari to step up security measures in the whole province.

 Meanwhile, military and police intelligence sources said the incident might be due to the continuous refusal of the firm to give extortion money.

 “May posibilidad na ang dahilan nito ay (There’s a possibility that this is caused by) extortion but we are still thoroughly investigating it,” sources who requested anonymity said.

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