SOLYMONE BLOG

PHILIPPINE IS ATTACKED FROM NORTH TO SOUTH


MANILA, Philippines - Literary speaking, Philippine is being attacked from all sides. While northern part of Philippines is still negotiating with the disastrous aftermath of Nesat, Nelgae and other minor typhoons, another problem cropped up in the south.
About 200 heavily armed communist rebels stormed three mining companies in the southern Philippines on Monday, disarming guards and seizing several people, security officials said.
The New People’s Army rebels also burned trucks, a barge and a guesthouse inside one of the compounds during the raids in Surigao del Norte province, police and military officials said.
  • Regional police Chief Reynaldo Rafal said the rebels, armed with automatic rifles and grenades, first raided the Taganito Mining Corp. in Claver township, seizing several security guards and company officials.
  • The rebels herded the hostages into a van and took them to another area of the company compound where they burned several trucks, he said.
  • Rafal said the nickel mining company has several Japanese managers but it was not clear whether any foreigners were being held. A crisis committee is assessing the situation, he added.
  • However, this week the Communist rebels released two more hostages yesterday while airing several demands and threatening to attack more mining firms following simultaneous attacks in the south on Monday.
  • The two hostages who work for Taganito Mining Corp (TMC) in Claver town, Surigao del Norte were released and not harmed by members of the New Peoples Army (NPA).
Earlier, the rebel group had released two other hostages immediately after attacking TMC's compound disguised as policemen on Monday, Police Superintendent Martin Gamba, police spokesman said.
The names of the two hostages were not released for security reasons, said Gamba. Another leftist group attacked a nickel processing plant, Taganito HPAL Corporation, also on Monday.
  • The two heavily damaged TMC facilities, led by Manuel Zamora, are part of Nickel Asia Corporation, and partly owned by Japan's Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd and Mitsui & Co Ltd.
  • Meanwhile, authorities have denied earlier reports that three disarmed security personnel were killed following another NPA attacks at Platinum Metals Group Corporation (PMGC) in Cagdianao village (Claver town) last Monday. PMGC is operated by a Vancouver-based company.
  • At the same time, Maria Malaya, spokesperson of the communist National Democratic Front, the political arm of the 45-year old Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the NPA, claimed responsibility for the three attacks on mining firms which were accused of repressing workers right, failing to pay regional taxes, and ravaging Surigao's Claver town for 30 years.
  • The attacks, Malaya explained, were "implementation of the policy of the revolutionary movement related to the protection of the environment and natural resources and the defense of the rights of the Lumad [indigenous] people, peasants, and workers."
The attacks were warnings, not reactions to alleged unrequited demands for revolutionary taxes, said Malaya, adding there would be more attacks against mining companies which he did not identify.
Although dozens of Japanese nationals are safe at TMC's facilities, Nickel Asia, the mother firm, has decided to suspend its operations indefinitely, affecting 4,000 to 5,000 workers.
Source: Agency
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