After an assault by a private group identified with a disgruntled shareholder, officials of the National Development Corp. (Nadecor) welcomed the quick response of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Phils. (AFP) over the weekend.
A PNP report on the incident stated that an armed group of about 20 men had attacked the security force of Nadecor in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, but were repulsed after police and AFP personnel provided support.
Nadecor President Conrado Calalang thanked the PNP and AFP and said that the company was hopeful that similar incidents could be prevented in the future. “We are calling for a thorough investigation of this incident so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice,” Calalang said in a statement to media.
The lawless armed group was identified as the private army of Jose Ricafort, a dissident minority stockholder of Nadecor who had tried to take control of the company despite the Calalang group owning 67 percent of Nadecor.
“Based on the facts and circumstances presented, there was a harassment committed by the Ricafort group, as the unlawful aggressor who perpetrated the said harassment and the Calalang group was forced to defend themselves on the said assault,” according to the report from the Pantukan PNP.
Ricafort had filed several cases against the Calalang group questioning the legality of the election of the company’s board of directors and officers. The Court of Appeals declared the Calalang group as the lawful group representing Nadecor in a decision issued earlier this year.
An administrative case filed by Ricafort’s camp was also dismissed by the Supreme Court by a unanimous vote in Feb., this year.
Nadecor had earlier brought in an investment of $43.5 million from its foreign partner, St. Augustine, a mining company listed in the Toronto stock exchange. The investment is one of the biggest to come in to the Philippines in the last few years.
One of the largest shareholders in St. Augustine is Queensberry Mining and Development Corp., the resource investment arm of the family of former senator Manny Villar.
The Villar camp presently owns 18 percent of Saint Augustine, with the option of increasing its holding to 32 percent.