The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has expressed deep regret over the delay caused by an arson incident perpetrated by five communist rebels at the construction site of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) in Daraga, Albay on Friday morning.
“Such attacks bring unnecessary delay to the fruition of (President Rodrigo Duterte’s) transportation goals, most especially as (the) DOTr has been working triple time to deliver infrastructure development in the hope of spurring regional growth and development,” the department said in a statement released to the media late Friday.
Citing reliable sources, the DOTr said the five “confirmed members of the New People’s Army”, who were carrying high-powered firearms, stopped a dump truck owned by Cuerpo Construction at a “checkpoint”, waylaid it and set fire to the vehicle.
It said soldiers pursued the five and reportedly engaged them in a gunfight.
The DOTr said the Philippine Army has been directed to investigate the incident, which was not the first to have occurred in the area, and identify the perpetrators.
Cuerpo Construction Co. is one of the contractors for the New BIA Complex project, which is being built by the DOTr under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.
The project aims to develop a new international-standard airport in Daraga, Albay that could accommodate larger aircraft, which in turn would serve the growing volume of air passengers in the Bicol region. (PNA)