Rebels attack mining firm

BACOLOD City – Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked the

Pilipinas Eco-friendly Mining Corp (PEMC) operating in the hinterlands of Ayungon, Negros Oriental at around 2 a.m. of Jan. 2, 2019.

In a statement sent via Facebook Messenger, Dionesio Magbuelas, spokesman of the NPA’s Mt. Cansermon Command, said the attack was a punishment on PEMC.

The damage is estimated at more than P120 million after rebels destroyed 8 backhoes, 2 pay loaders, 2 dump trucks, 2 generators and 1 rock crusher.

PEMC supplies silica to 10 major cement factories in the Philippines and is the 15th company that profits from open-pit mining.

Around 4,717 hectares in Ayungon is subject to mineral extraction by not less than five mining companies, including PEMC. The firm operates along the boundary of Barangays Banban and Mabato, all in Ayungon.

The NPA’s claimed that PEMC’s operations “will dislocate almost three to five barangays barrios, affect 2,000 hectares of farmlands and livelihood surrounding its mining site, damage almost thousands of hectares of rice fields in Barangay Banban, and will bring destruction to the seas and livelihood of fisherfolk caused by silt that devastates streams, rivers, irrigation systems up to the shore.”

“The People’s Democratic Government has a pro-people, pro-environment policy of punishing companies that is destructive to the environment, dislocates people and their livelihood. This action serves as a warning to all mining companies in Negros,” the NPA statement said.