The communist New People’s Army (NPA) has turned to extorting from mining companies early this month because the group’s logistics and finances are running short, the military said.
The rebels attacked several mining sites in Mindanao and Luzon following the arrest of their leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon in March.
Among the raided sites are those of Phil Astron Mining Company in Tubay, Agusan del Norte, St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd. and Apex Mining in Compostela Valley and Freeport McMoran-Phelps Dodge in Ilocos Sur, the military reported.
These burning incidents were the handiwork of NPA bands as means of survival. With their paralyzed centralized logistics they have no other means to sustain their organization but to extort from mining firms.
The military added that in Caraga, about 37 members of Tribal Solid Mass Organization named “Umayam Kawilihan” and members of the Militia ng Bayan under a certain datu of Manobo tribe surrendered to the Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, on Wednesday morning.
Among those who surrendered is the squad leader of Sandatahan Yunit Pampropaganda under the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, the military said in a statement.
The surrenderees also turned in 36 firearms including a grenade launcher, and an improvised explosive device (IED).
Major General Ricardo Visaya, commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said this was the third batch of surrenderees that yielded to the 4th Infantry Division in the last six months.
On October 2013, 35 NPA members surrendered, followed last 28 March by 72 rebels.