ZAMBOANGA CITY: The New People’s Army (NPA) claimed responsibility over attacks on two mining firms in southern Philippines.
Dencio Madrigal, a spokesman for the NPA-Valentin Palamine Command, said simultaneous attacks on Monday on Glencore-Xtrata SMI mining company and the South Davao Development Company Inc. (Sodaco), a mining firm owned by the D.M. Consunji Inc., were part of tactical offensive to protect national patrimony and fight military operations in eastern Mindanao.
Madrigal said rebel forces torched 48 container vans which were used as offices at the SMI pioneering camp at Sitio Gu–matikura in the village of Kimlawis in Davao del Norte’s Kiblawan town.
He added that an hour later, another group of rebels wearing “enemy uniforms” stormed the SDDCI mining camp at Sitio Salnaong in Datal Blau village in Sultan Kudarat’s Columbio town and seized 13 shotguns, four communication radios, one global navigation tool and a laptop.
“The latest NPA tactical offensive is part of the intensification of revolutionary armed struggle and counter-offensives to defeat the 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command’s sustained military operations in Davao Del Sur, North Cotabato, South Cota–bato and other areas.”
“The punitive action is also a continuing enforcement of the policy of the People’s Democratic Government to defend national patrimony by opposing operations of foreign large-scale mining companies like Glencore Xtrata-SMI [Sagittarius Mines, Inc.],” Madrigal said.
He said rebel forces will continue to attack large-scale mining firms responsible for open pit mining and other environmentally destructive operations. The NPA has previously attack TVI Resource Development Inc. in Zamboanga del Norte, whose operations is being opposed by indigenous tribesmen in the province.
“Failure by the United States-Aquino regime to guarantee the safety of the masses against floods, landslides and other disasters as a result of big mining operations has made the NPA’s punitive actions more effective in truly protecting the environment. The regime’s sweet policy towards environmental plunderers like Glen–core and SDDCI and the acceleration of mining extraction in the country’s remaining natural resources invigorate the NPA and the revolutionary movement to further intensify the people’s war,” he said.
The NPA has been waging a separatist war for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country.