Rebels Raid Mining Firm In Southern RPJanuary 1, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 01, 2008) – Communist insurgents attacked early Tuesday a mining firm in South Cotabato province in southern Philippines, where security forces are battling the New People’s Army (NPA), which is fighting for a separate Maoist state.
The raiders torched a building and destroyed equipment owned by the Sagittarius Mines Inc. in the town called Tampakan past 3 a.m., according to a military report.
No one was reported injured or killed in the raid.
But the attack sent a chilling warning to the government that the NPA can carry out offensive despite a massive military operation to crush the growing insurgency problems in Mindanao island, where Muslim rebels are also fighting for a separate homeland.
The insurgents fled after the attack. The motive of the attack is still unknown, but NPA forces have previously raided other mining firms in Mindanao which refused to pay illegal taxation.
Indigenous tribes also were protesting the operation of the SMI, saying, the mining activities allegedly encroached into ancestral lands and caused pollution in rivers and streams in Tampakan, which is considered a watershed area.
In March last year, insurgents also raided a private coal mining firm, the MG Mining Company, in Raja Cabunsuan village in Surigao del Sur’s Lingig town.
The NPA carted weapons taken from security guards at the mining headquarters after MG executives refused to pay illegal taxation imposed by the insurgents.
The NPA had been collecting so-called “revolutionary taxes” to support its armed struggle to overthrow the democratic government for a separate Maoist homeland in the Philippines.
The weapons maintained by mining firms’ security guards have also attracted the insurgents.
The latest attack came days after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the NPA has achieved significant military victories in 2007 and warned of more and bigger offensive this year. (Mindanao Examiner)