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Philippine rebels attack Dole plantation

Communist guerrillas have attacked a banana plantation in the southern Philippines, killing one and wounding three

Philippine rebels attack Dole plantation

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Revolutionaries stormed a Dole Foods banana plantation in Cotabato province early today in a trend of systemic attacks across the southern regions of the Philippines, the Minda News reports.

The New Peoples’ Army (NPA) guerrillas burned down two of Dole’s mobile packing plants in Makilala, and exploded a landmine that killed local councillor Ricky Apolinario and wounded three others.

The attack was the third since last March, and military spokesmen say the raid followed an extortion letter from the NPA to Dole, which refuses to pay so called ‘revolutionary taxes’ to the guerrillas.

The Philippine government has sent hundreds more troops to the region in response to the surge of attacks.

On Thursday armed forces chief General Alexander Yano proposed a ceasefire with the NPA, similar to the one the government has with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, but government officials put down the suggestion in light of President Gloria Arroyo’s pledge to make the rebel movement ‘irrelevant’ by 2010.

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