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in Camalig, Albay: Armed men torch 5 heavy equipment

LEGAZPI CITY --- Unidentified armed men torched five heavy equipment owned by the Good Found Cement Factory in Camalig town on Monday (May 4) evening.

Dexter Pangilinan, Philippine National Police (PNP) Albay spokesman, said that armed men set on fire the heavy equipment at the quarry site of Goodfound Cement Corporation in barangay Miti, Camalig, Albay at about 9:15 PM on May 4.

Investigation disclosed that about 8:30 PM, the watchmen noticed that some of the “nipa” huts used as bunkhouses at the quarry site were on fire. When they verified it using their flashlights, they suddenly heard two consecutive gunshots, and, out of fear, they ran towards a nearby house for safety.

An aerial view of Palanog GoodFound Cement Factory in Camalig, Albay. The cement factory owns the heavy equipment torched by unidentified armed men on May 4. RHaydz B. Barcia

When the responding police personnel arrived in the quarry site, they found the charred equipment consisting of two payloaders, two backhoes, an unserviceable continuous miner, and five “nipa” huts. They also recovered five empty fuel containers in the site, Pangilinan said.

Nine backhoes and two drilling machines in the quarry site were left untouched.

“This deplorable act during the pandemic is an affront not only to Albayanos but to all peace-loving Filipinos who are now fighting together as one nation to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” Police Col. Primitivo C. Bayongan Jr., Albay Police Provincial Office chief said.

Bayongan appealed to the community to cooperate with police authorities to report the perpetrators behind the burning of the heavy equipment of the cement factory.

“We appeal to all members of the community who may have any information about the incident to contact Camalig Municipal Police Station at hotline number 09985985940 or any police unit in Albay, so that we can immediately identify the perpetrators, file criminal complaints, and arrest them,” Bayongan said.

Engr. Lito Apari, Good Found Cement Factory president, said that for 18 years of operation they did not encounter any harassment in the area wherein they have good relationship with the communities.

Apari also said that there was no demand letter or any message from any armed group asking for monetary support.

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