TORCHED. Photo shows the backhoe torched by suspected members of the New People's Army in Barangay Magsaysay, Guihulngan City on Tuesday (July 23, 2019). The equipment owned by the WTG Construction is being used in the construction of the Guihulngan-Isabela road which is now in its finishing stage. (Photo courtesy of Guihulngan Police Station)

DUMAGUETE CITY – Police investigators here are now looking into the possible involvement of New People’s Army (NPA) members in the burning of heavy equipment Oriental in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental last Tuesday.

Chief M/Sgt. Jerome Delara, head of the investigation section of the Guihulngan City Police Station, on Thursday said one of the angles they are looking at is the ongoing road construction connecting Guihulngan to Isabela in Negros Occidental.

According to him, the backhoe that alleged NPA members set on fire was being used in the construction of the said highway. Communist rebels are known to derail government projects that benefit villagers in the countryside.

A report from the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office said unidentified men believed to be NPA members torched the heavy equipment owned by WTG Construction at around 8 p.m. Tuesday in Sitio Malinoy in Barangay Magsaysay, Guihulngan City.

Barangay Magsaysay is where six policemen were ambushed and killed also by suspected NPA members in 2017. It is around 11 kilometers from the city proper and there is also no communication signal in the area.

Delara was among those who survived that incident and remains assigned at the Guihulngan Police Station.

He said that the suspects set on fire the backhoe which was parked alongside a dimly-lit area in an almost uninhabited part of Sitio Malinoy.

WTC Construction is one of the contractors involved in the construction of Guihulngan-Baluk (Magsaysay)-Isabela national highway which is now in its finishing stage.