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PIA Press Release
2007/09/20

Mining areas in Comval attracts interest of NPAs

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (20 September) -- The location of four big mining sites in Compostela Valley Province is like a magnet which attract the interest of the CPP NPA to operate in the area.

Brig Gen Carlos Holganza, 1001st Brigade Commander during the Club 888 Forum held at The Marco Polo Hotel on Wednesday said the NPA's are more interested in the gold extracted in the mining areas.

"The banana plantations are small compared to the gold they get from the mining areas," he said.

In an earlier report Col. Benito Antonio de Leon, chief of staff of the 1001st Division of the Philippine Army said they had instructions from higher authorities to intensify the security of the province, the area being named as the second national priority of the country. It is giving significant contributions from its rich natural resources to the national coffers, he said.

Holganza said ComVal has the most number of fronts operating in the area with six Southern Mindanao Brigade Committee compared to the other provinces nationwide.

He said that before the coverage of the Division was divided, it should have 13 fronts covering Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and ComVal and they have the most number compared to other regions in the country.

Now, he said the fronts under their area of coverage is about eight and the average per army brigade is between two to five fronts.

He said the higher the grade of gold in the area, the more guns are there and they (NPA) could easily tell the mining operators "pwede ba kami muna for two hours".

"Medyo loose ang control sa itaas and if I will be asked I would recommend to deploy more than two battalions in ComVal," he said.

Meanwhile Holganza said he is happy with the recent reconciliation of the leaders of the province where Governor Chungkee Uy and Congressman Ramon Zamora and Monkayo Mayor Joel Brillantes agreed to support the development of the province and set aside differences.

He bared that the reconciliatory discussion among the parties that took place last week delved on political issues, business particularly the mining industry and security.

He said the political instability in the province contributed to the peace and order situation in the area and their manifestation of stepping backward over their respective demands would lead to the continuing development of the province. (PIA XI) [top]

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