Mining firms forced to support NPA – MGB

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 April) — Mining firms operating in Southeastern
Mindanao have been giving contributions to the New Peoples Army (NPA) but
claimed they have no choice, a mines bureau official said.

mining.gifLast week, a military official said the mining sector is a major source of the
NPA’s war chest.

Edilberto Arreza, regional director of the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences
Bureau, quoted Edgar Martinez, president of the Mindanao Association for
Mineral Industry, Inc. (MINA) as saying they have no choice but give in so
they could penetrate the areas where they intend to do exploration activities.

Arreza declined to say which firms are giving contributions to the NPA.

Eight mining firms are conducting exploration in the region. These are Hallmark Mining Corp. for the Pujada Nickel Project in Mati, Davao Oriental; Dabawenyo Mining Corp. for copper and gold in Don Salvador, Mati, Davao Oriental; Southern Horizon Mining Corporation for copper and gold in Calapagan, Luzpon, Compostela Valley; Jake Mining Corpo for copper and gold in Maragusan, Compostela Valley; Bunawan Mining Corporation for nickel, copper and chromite in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental; Philco Mining Corporation for copper and gold in Camanlagan, New Bataan, Compostela Velley; Omega Resources Phils. Inc. for copper and gold in Boston, Davao Oriental and Alsons Development Corporation for copper and gold in Mainit, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley. 

Arreza told a press conference at SM City Monday that the military could not provide enough security in the area that is why the firms are forced to give in to the NPA’s demands. 

“The rebels return as soon as the government forces move to another location,” he said. 

“Maybe (we’ll fix) coordination. I really don’t think that’s a problem that can’t be solved,” Brig. Gen. Carlos Holganza, chief of the military’s 1001st infantry brigade told MindaNews Monday night when asked about the issue.

Holganza earlier told MindaNews that they are deploying more troops in the area to boost the military’s presence. 

Arreza said the mining firms give food such as rice, dried fish, and others to the NPA. . He said that is better than allowing them to extort funds to buy arms. He said the support the firms extend “really depends on the negotiations.” The firms bargain with the rebels on what to give, he said. 

Arreza acknowledge this has affected the business climate in the region’s mining industry as exploration activities are hampered. 

Arreza also affirmed the military pronouncements that there are rebels who actually work in the mines. But he said the situation is expected to improve as soon as mining firms conclude exploration stage and proceed to actual mining operations. 

He said with a confined area, it will make it easier for both the government security forces and the firms own guards to secure their area and resist the NPA. 

Holganza said they are doing everything to neutralize the rebel group in the area.  Arreza said that after years of failed military action, the government should find more ways to address the problem. “Maybe not armed intervention, there has to be something more like more socio-economic interventions,” he said.

(Walter I. Balane/MindaNews) (Photo: Cover of the Report of a Fact finding team on Mining in the Philippines)

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

4 responses to “Mining firms forced to support NPA – MGB”

  1. Skip duran says :

    its so sad to think that instead of protecting the interest and welfare of the people in a mining targeted areas so insulting that if its true rebels are protecting the mining industries. . . . . I taught you are the guardians of cruelties made by these companies but it turn out to be a mockery of NPA’s virtues . . . it should not be that way. For all we know mining is the most lethal of all destructions it moves mountains and at the same time it extracts the people, the community, our environment . . . . . it will misplace us . . . . . . .

  2. Vince garcia says :

    hello skip, i am wondering how would you look like if its not for mining. with out the clothes, your jewelries your gadgets or even your house…stop blaming mining, if its not because of us humans there will be no mining…i think its time for us to stop on telling negative things about mining…why not convince people not to buy products from mining in that way i bet mining will be stop…it is true that mining is destructive, that is because it is extracting, and why is it extracting?..it is because man needs something to survive…in a poor country like the Philippines, communities beyond the reach of development and beyond the blessing of politics depends from this mining company for development, constructions of roads, schools and water system.. in those communities people, children will be able to feed themselves enough for what they need, go to school…and then here comes the anti mining, convince people for a couple of months that mining is bad and then when there is no mining anymore, the anti mining moves out to another areas leaving the community behind in hunger for the rest of there life….

  3. ROMEO HEK says :

    i find it not surprising that NPAs will commit such act. I find it not surprising that ordinary people will oppose mining. What is surprising however, is why mining keeps on expanding areas unbridled even to the extent of encroaching vital and critical areas such as the Pujada bay in Davao Oriental. Why mining has to dislocate the Subanen tribes, who are the real owners of lands, in Siocon Zamboanga. Why a mining company keeps on insisting to mine the watershed area of the municipality of placer, surigao. Why allow companies such as BHP Billton, Anglo American etc when they have responsibilities to developing countries from around the world such as indonesia, papua new geni

    embracing mining because we used mined products is grossly irresponsible but, a good step to understand its issues.. research more.. on these issues:

    what are those “areas closed to mining” by law, look around identify one..see if those were followed..im sure you will be amazed to see how it were systematically violated.

    respect to one’s person is important. we need that. but what happened if we disrespect one community or tribe. i suggest you make efforts to know how people from those concerned areas i cited above opposed mining. if youre in their case, you will cry for your helplessness and irresponsiblity of the govt for its inaction.

    more topics to study, is mining helping us industrializad or just milking us of our raw materials? are we getting big or just crumbs?

    i was once who sees mining beneficial, the way of the future, etc but i realize we step at the wrong foot of doing it -uncontrollably and void of holistic development framework. this is dangerous, everything else collapses if this is not addressed.

  4. angel ako says :

    yah, we may think mining is the most lethal of all detructions… but if we can only step on the mining site and talk to the village people, then maybe we can say thanks to the mining companies, for they helped these people in terms of ” hanap- buhay”.

    it’s a shame foreign companies are the one providing these needs of the villagers, and it seems the government negleted them because they are in remote areas.

    we have these natural resources, then we have to make use of it.

    wag tayong pa ipokreta na pa against against sa mining. eh mga pinoy pah, ang hilig sa gold, kahit fake sinusunggaban para lang may maipagyyayabang.

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