P11-M worth of fully grown bananas destroyed in suspected NPA raid at Dole plantations in Surigao, says PNP, military 

by Ben Serrano

November 28, 2010

            BUTUAN CITY (PNA) - While Mindanao Week of Peace spearheaded by Roman Catholic’s Caraga Conference for Peace and Development celebrated here at Caraga region's capital, Butuan City, suspected NPA rebels  on the other hand raided a banana plantation owned by Dole Philippines in Barangay Anahaw in Tago, Surigao del Sur over the weekend, belated report from the military and the police here said. 

            Tago, Surigao del Sur is about 150 kilometers southwest of Butuan City, Caraga region’s capital. 

            Caraga Police regional information office here reported that undetermined number of armed men suspected to NPA rebels raided the more than 500 hectares of banana plantations in sitios Saguinza and Kabalawan in Barangay Anahaw and right there and then destroyed by cutting all 22,000 fully grown bananas estimated to worth P11-M pesos at current prevailing price. 

            Barangay Captain Pedro Olvis of Barangay Anahaw was the first to report the incident to the Tago Municipal Police Office.

            Responding government troopers mostly SCAA personnel only headed by a regular Army officer Sgt. Eddie Hiran of the 36th IB Philippine Army, although too late to respond, according to Barangay Anahaw residents and officials, were able to engage in firefight the fleeing suspected NPA rebels for about five minutes. 

As usual, government troopers claimed no casualty on their side while undetermined on the NPA side both Philippine police and military described as “communist terrorist”.

        The NPA has not yet officially owned the raid of the Dole plantation in Surigao del Sur as this is the third such report of armed men destroying said banana plantations were reported since Dole Philippines started operations in the area. 

            Dole Philippines, a subsidiary of Dole U.S.A. is operating under land leasing or rental scheme where the firm rent lands owned by various landowners for their banana plantations. 

            Aside from land renting/leasing scheme, Dole Philippines is also into contract growing scheme, where landowners plant, grew bananas with technical help from Dole and enter marketing contract with Dole who is obligated to buy bananas from the planters. (PNA/Ben Serrano)