LGUs urged to seek aid from military to secure mining firms from NPA
Cebu City (7 October) -- Local chief executives (LCEs) are urged not to hesitate in seeking assistance from the military to secure vital infrastructure in their areas such as mining firms that are vulnerable to extortions by the New People’s Army (NPA).
Central Command 302nd Brigade Commander Col. Cesar Yano in the recent Mining Summit for LCEs told mayors and some of their representatives not to think twice in asking their help in securing mining plants as part of their mandate is to secure vital installations.
Yano said mining operations are mostly based in non-urbanized areas making them easy targets for the leftist group as a source of milking fund to continue their unlawful activities. "Mining is synonymous to NPA operations," the army official bared.
The army official said mining companies often fall victim to NPA atrocities based on many documented reports of equipment being burned because they do not cooperate and pay their dues to the group.
Some mining firms that do not want their operations disrupted are forced to pay, Yano added.
Yano said this is one problem he foresees amid government’s promotion to revive the mining industry because when there is "mining operations in an area, there will also be NPAs."
The brigade commander however, was quick to respond that this actually is not a major problem if mining companies would not yield to the demands of extortion by the NPA and that LCEs should immediately seek their assistance so military can immediately be deployed in the area to secure the infrastructure.
Investing in mining certainly brings development to a locality leading to a better quality of life as opportunities for employment are made available which the NPA oppose as poverty is their main excuse to brain wash the people to go against the government, Yano declared.
In Central Visayas, only Negros Oriental out of the four provinces in the region is still besieged with NPA. Previously, the NPA hounded Cebu and Bohol but has fallen apart as the military relentlessly continued their information and education campaign against the group in affected areas coupled with providing basic government services to the people in partnership with other government agencies and the local government units.
The leftist armed movement has been branded as a terrorist organization along with the Abu Sayyaf Group that resulted to a halt in receiving funding from outside sources. This move prompted the NPA to resort to extortion to maintain and continue their illegal activities while the notorious ASG resorted to kidnapping. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]