Philippines: Communist rebels attack mining firm

MANILA : Suspected communist rebels in the Philippines attacked a mining company compound, while in another incident the rebels clashed with soldiers, the military said on Thursday.

GMA News reported that Major John Andrada, spokesman for the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said about 40 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Wednesday attacked the compound of Drill Corp., a sub-contractor of Philex Mining Corp., in Nabulao village in Sipalay City in the central island of Negros. He said the rebels disarmed a security guard and burned the workers’ quarters as well as the personnel carrier truck.
According to Andrada, the rebels fled using a company’s vehicle, which was later found burned.
The Visayan Daily Star reported that the attack was an attempt to force the mining company to pay revolutionary taxes. Priest-turned-rebel Frank Fernandez said in an earlier statement that the revolutionary movement has been ordered to launch military and political struggles, aimed at stopping the ongoing mining explorations and operations of several mining companies that have pending mining rights applications in Negros.
He claimed that massive mining operations in the mountains of Negros Occidental and Oriental have already covered 40 percent of the total land area of the island, or 80 percent of the total agricultural land, adding that there is a possibility that Negros may soon be transformed into a desert.
Meanwhile, in the southern island of Mindanao, NPA insurgents attacked the soldiers’ detachment in Makilala town. Col. Prudencio Asto, public affairs officer of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the rebels opened fire at soldiers from the 57th Infantry Battalion stationed in Batasan village.
He said the insurgents withdrew after a firefight that left no casualties on the military’s side
The NPA has been fighting against the government for more than four decades, even though peace talks resumed earlier this year.

–BNO News

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