NPA rebels attacked Capiz resort to steal food, says military 
By Felipe V. Celino
Inquirer Visayas
First Posted 17:49:00 12/23/2010

Filed Under: Philippines - Regions, Military, rebellion, insurgency
ROXAS CITY, Capiz, Philippines—The military here said the communist New People’s Army attack on a resort in Tapaz town on December 16 was meant to steal food and not to take punitive action against the resort’s supposed abusive security personnel. 

Contrary to the claim of the NPA’s Jose Percival Estocado Jr. Central Command, the disarming of the resort’s security guards and that of a policeman was just a consequence and not the reason why the rebels raided the Marugo Mountain Resort, said a statement e-mailed to the INQUIRER on Wednesday by 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson Lt. Col. Mark Posadas. 

“They attacked the resort for the following reasons: to steal food in the form of canned goods; and to terrorize and intimidate the resort owner to give in to their extortion demands,” Posadas said. 

Posadas said the disarmed security guards of the resort were not members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) as claimed by the rebels. 

The policeman who was divested of his service firearm, Senior Police Officer 3 Isidro Garbosa of the Tapaz police station, also just happened to be at the resort at the time, according to Posadas. 

Garbosa earlier said the rebels took his 9mm Barreta pistol and two magazines with live ammunition and a cellular phone. 

“Having successfully entered the resort without resistance emboldened them to take the firearms of the security and the policeman, who at that time was enjoying the facilities of the resort,” the military statement said. 

“The fact that they had to prepare a statement to be read a week after the incident is already highly suspicious. It seems that it took them a while to create the elaborate lie that they now try to pass off to justify their criminal acts,” Posadas said. 

The NPA Jose Percival Estocado Jr. Central Command, in a taped statement aired over two radio stations here on Monday, admitted attacking the Marugo Mountain Resort and disarming the security personnel and a policeman at the resort owned by Roberto Palomar on December 16, the first day of the 18-day holiday truce between government and the communist rebel forces. 

The statement read by a rebel spokesman who identified himself as “Jury Guerrero” justified the raid by saying it was prompted by alleged abuses by the resort’s armed personnel against the local residents living near the resort. 

The rebel named the disarmed men as Dominido Gascon and Edgar Victoriano, whom they claimed were Cafgu members. 

The rebels took from them a .30-cal. M1 Garand rifle with 10 clips of ammunition and an M-16 Armalite rifle with five long and two short magazines. 

They also took six hand-held radios, two pairs of binoculars, a megaphone, a backpack with assorted fatigue uniforms and one magazine of .45-cal. bullets. 

Palomar, who ran for mayor last May but lost to re-electionist Mayor Rosemarie Gardose, was not around when the armed group entered the resort. 

Guerrero said that except for the attack on the resort, the rebels have been observing the ceasefire