BUTUAN CITY- Suspected members of the New People’s Army burned a six-wheeler dump truck on Wednesday evening in Tandag City in Surigao del Sur, the venue of the recently concluded 17th Caraga Regional Athletic Meet.
At the time of the incident, the annual athletic event attended by nearly 5,000 athletes and Education officials from provinces and cities of Caraga Region were still in Tandag City as the sports competition was about to finish.
Tandag City, the provincial capital of Surigao del Sur, is 200 kilometers away from Butuan City. Caraga’s regional center.
The Tandag City Police Office said the dump truck owned by a certain Celestino Sales of Tandag City was loaded with sand and gravel.
Police said prior to the burning incident, armed men were seen gathering dried coconut leaves along the provincial road in Sitio Mantaya, Barangay Pandanon, Tandag City that day.
When the dump truck passed the area, it was flagged down by four men armed with high caliber firearms, police said.
The suspects ordered the truck driver and his helpers to step down then torched the heavy equipment.
Insurgency, decades-old problem in one of the poorest regions in the country, was being fueled by poverty and social injustice, an oficial said.
Caraga Region abounds with mineral resources and its agricultural lands produce a wide array of vegetables, fruits and rice.