Extortion at Work: NPA Torches Bus in North Cotabato Anew

Members of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Monday torched a passenger bus in Makilala, North Cotabato, police said.

Supt. Romeo Galgo, spokesperson of the police in Central Mindanao, said the suspects flagged down the Davao City-bound Yellow Bus in Barangay San Vicente in Makilala at 8:30 a.m. Monday.

Galgo, quoting a report from the North Cotabato police, said the bus with about a dozen passengers, was commandeered by the gunmen and driven to a remote sub-village, where the rebels poured gasoline on the vehicle before setting it on fire.

The driver and the passengers were released unharmed.

Galgo said the attackers belonged to the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 72 operating in Makilala and in Bansalan in Davao del Sur.

The attack came five days after NPA rebels killed four policemen in an ambush in Bansalan.

Local businessmen in Mindanao have been calling the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte to destroy the rebel groups if the president cannot convince them to stop collecting revolutionary tax.

Extortion activities of the New People’s Army in Mindanao caused several businesses to close down resulting to loss of thousands of jobs.

In Surigao, a big farm connected to Del Monte closed last year due to NPA extortion activities. /Nico Bawa/

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