ZAMBOANGA CITY: Authorities confiscated chemical fertilizers and cyanide, including dozens of blasting caps commonly used by illegal gold miners in Compostela Valley province in Mindanao region.
Military and government agents, armed with search warrants, swooped down in Na–bunturan town on March 31 and arrested several people in connection with the illegal selling of the chemicals.
Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber said at least 275 kilos of ammonium nitrate, 569 pieces of blasting caps and 1,132 meters of time fuse and three kilos of cyanide were seized in the raid.
“Authorities are still investigating those arrested to determine if they are commu- nist rebels or selling those illegal chemicals to the New People’s Army,” Caber told The Manila Times.
The military did not say how many people were arrested in the operations, but the province is a known gold-rush area in the southern Philippines where tens of thousands of illegal miners continue to operate using homemade explosives and cyanide to extract gold and silver from the earth.