NPA offensives against plunderous mining ops


The New People’s Army (NPA) mounted successive military actions to halt plunderous mining operations in Wes­tern Sa­mar and South Co­ta­ba­to from June to July.

Wes­tern Sa­mar. An NPA unit targeted troopers of the 8th ID who were conducting security operations in the province to pave way for the opening of the Sa­mar Bauxi­te Project of the Marcven­tu­res Hol­ding­s, Inc. The said mining operations is set to cover up to 12,231 hectares of land which has rich bauxi­te deposits. Marcventures is owned by the Davao-based Alcantara family.

On July 1, a soldier was killed in an NPA sniping operation in Ba­ra­ngay Be­ri Mo­ti­ong. Out of fear, the military unit along with other troopers who encamped in adjacent barrios retreated after the harassment.

On July 7, two soldiers were killed in another NPA sniping operation in Barangay San Nicolas, San Jose de Buan. In retaliation, the military perpetrated rights abuses against residents in a nearby peasant community after a week. (Read related article in page 7.)

South Co­ta­ba­to. On June 15, the NPA paralyzed the construction equipment of the Gem­ma Con­structi­on Com­pany, a local contractor of the regime’s key infrastructure projects in the Far South Min­da­nao Re­gi­on. The incident took place in Pu­rok Pag-a­sa, Ba­ra­ngay Ve­te­rans, Su­ral­lah. Approximate P23-million worth of equipment were destroyed, including a backhoe, pay­loa­der and dump truck.

The company is constructing various roads which directly serve the operation of the Tam­pa­kan Cop­per-Gold Project, a mining project which is responsible for the eviction of Lumad minorities and destroying their ancestral lands. The roads are also being used by agribusiness companies which are expanding their operations in the area.

The said company is owned by businesswoman Lo­ra Uy. The Uy family also owns hundreds of hectares of banana plantations in T’bo­li, South Co­ta­ba­to which are notorious for evicting minorities from their ancestral lands.

In related news, De­partment of Envi­ron­ment and Na­tu­ral Re­so­urces (DENR) Sec. Roy Ci­ma­tu announced on July 22 that he has already allowed the companies that were closed down and suspended by his predecessor, Gina Lopez, to resume their mining operations. Lopez ordered the closure of 26 mining companies in 2016 for violating environmental standards.

Meanwhile, three soldiers were killed in a series of encounter in Barangay Baluan, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat on July 26. A Red fighter was martyred during the incident.

An element of the 72nd DRC was also killed, while three others were wounded, in an NPA demolition operation in Ba­ra­ngay Di­li, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur, on July 31.

NPA offensives against plunderous mining ops