ZAMBOANGA CITY: The New People’s Army (NPA) rebels owned up a daring attack on a nickel mining firm in Mati City in Davao Oriental over the weekend.
Rigoberto Sanchez, a rebel spokesman, said NPA forces swooped down on the compound of Mil-Oro Mining Corporation in the village of Macambol over the weekend and destroyed mining equipment, including five backhoes and four road graders.
Rebels also seized two rifles, six shotguns and ammunition and several military radio sets from the firm’s security force, including several company vehicles.
Chief Insp. Leonilo Lad, of Mati police force, said at least 15 gunmen were involved in the raid that destroyed some P100 million in properties.
The Mil-Oro operates an open-pit mining technique in Mati owned by transnational Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp., whose environmental compliance certificate was revoked last year by former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez for its alleged destructive operations, according to Sanchez.
“It has been operating since 2015 under the patronage and behest of current Davao Oriental Rep. Corazon Malanyaon, who was Davao Oriental governor at that time, and has continuously allowed the incursion of destructive mining companies in protected areas in the province,” he said.