Three backhoes were immobilized by operatives of the New People’s Army (NPA)-Northern Negros (Roselyn Jean Pelle Command) in Silay City, Negros Occidental last April 12. “This is in response to the people’s demand to punish large-scale quarrying operations in the area,” said Ka Cecil Estrella, spokesperson of the NPA unit.
The backhoes, said to be owned and operated by Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew J. Golez, were located by the NPA in a quarry site in Hacienda Vista Alegre, Barangay E. Lopez. The units were estimated at ₱16.6 million.
Checkpoints were mounted by the NPA-Negros along the Silay-Patag road during the offensive.
“Destructive quarrying and other so-called”development projects” of the ruling elite caused the series of flashfloods in Northern Negros,” added Estrella.
In early January, after successive heavy rains, about 76,000 residents of E.B. Magalona town and several other cities including Silay were forced to evacuate due to neck-high flashfloods. The incident has also caused the death of three residents.
The tragedy prompted Negros Occidental Governor Lacson in January to commit in “reviewing” permits granted to quarry operators in the province. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has also conducted “inspection” operations in quarry sites.
The following day, April 13, another unit of the NPA mounted a tactical offensive against an agent of the local ruling elite, and fascist army who is notorious for inflicting harm to the masses.
Red fighters ambushed Elmer “Neneng” Ortencio, 45, in Hacienda Margarita, Barangay Consing, E.B. Magalona. Ortencio was an active case agent of the 7th Intelligence and Security Unit (ISU) of the Philippine Army based in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City.
Ortencio’s status as a legitimate military target was further affirmed by identification cards and ISU mission orders which were taken by NPA operatives from his possession.
The NPA unit also confiscated a .38 caliber revolver with ammunition, a cellular phone, and a handheld radio. Aside from open membership in military-organize counter-revolutionary groups, Ortencio also gained notoriety as a double-dealing encargado and farm labor contractor working for some big landlords and arrendadors in E.B. Magalona and Victorias City.