Over the past two weeks, the New People’s Army (NPA)-Bukidnon carried out attacks against the Ulticon Builders Incorporated (UBI), a giant Duterte-allied construction company that is notorious for abuses against its workers. The sanctions were ordered by local agencies of the People’s Democratic Government (PDG) in Bukidnon.
A unit of the NPA-Bukidnon first attacked UBI’s compound in Barangay Mandahikan, Cabanglasan on the evening of January 25. Six machineries were paralyzed including two backhoes, two mixers, one dump truck and one small mixer. Police reports estimate the damage at ₱9 million.
Red fighters mounted their second attack against UBI’s compound in Salawagan, Quezon. The NPA unit paralyzed a mixer, dump truck, and an oil tanker on the evening of February 3 which were estimated at ₱6 million.
UBI is notorious for paying low wages to its workers, as well as not giving their 13th month pay and other benefits. The company has also failed to comply with the PDG’s rules with regard compensating residents for their farmlands, properties and houses destroyed during construction.
Close ties with the Dutertes
UBI is a Davao-based construction company which started in 1993. Under the Duterte regime, it is one of the biggest recipients of government contracts for infrastructure projects. In 2017, the company ranked second in a list of companies awarded with the biggest amount of government contracts, with a total of ₱11.1 billion worth of contracts from July 2016 to December 2017.
One of UBI’s proprietors, Carlo Lisandro Gonzalez, is currently the representative of the Marino party-list group which was backed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in the 2016 elections.
Ulticon, as part of a Japanese joint venture group Shimizu – Ulticon – Takenaka, will take part in one of Duterte’s flagship Build, Build, Build projects, the Davao City Bypass Construction Project which is pegged at P13.23 billion.
The company also regularly sponsors military infrastructure projects to ensure that it is on friendly terms with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The list included the facility improvement of the 8th IB’s camp in Barangay Poblacion, Impasugong last July 2019.