Monday, February 4, 2008

NPA to continue attacking mining firms--rebel spokesman

LUCENA CITY -- NEW PEOPLE’S Army rebels will continue to attack mining firms operating in different parts of the country despite the security provided by the military, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said.

“The NPA will continue to carry out military action against big plunderous mining firms, especially those being secured by military and paramilitary units, and those directly engaged in outright violation of the people’s rights, interests and welfare,” Rosal said in a statement sent to the Inquirer on Saturday.

Rosal denounced plans by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deploy more military and paramilitary units to train private security forces to serve as security guards of foreign mining firms operating in the country.

“It demonstrates how the Philippine military actually serves as a private army not only of bureaucrats and politicians but also of big, plunderous capitalists, especially multinationals,” he said.

Last week, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon said the military was willing to provide security assistance to foreign mining companies after communist guerrillas attacked two mine sites in the last three months.

Maj. Gen. Juanito Gomez, 7th Infantry Division chief, admitted that he had signed a memorandum of agreement to secure 3,700 hectares controlled by DMCI Mining Corp. in Sta. Cruz, Zambales.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said he saw nothing wrong with government soldiers providing security to mining companies, or to private firms in general, as long as this was covered by guidelines. Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzo

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