By Yas Ocampo
The New People’s Army (NPA) said it has attacked the Mil-Oro Mining Corp. as a form of “punishment” for its negative impacts on the people and environment in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
In a statement, Rigoberto F. Sanchez, spokesperson of the Merardo Arce Command of the Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command, NPA, called the company a “destructive” mining firm.
“The ComVal–Davao Gulf Sub-Regional Command of the New People’s Army successfully meted out punitive action against Mil-Oro Mining Corp. in Sitio Salingkomot, Barangay Macambol, Mati City on May 6, 2017,” Arce said.
At around 5:00 a.m., Red fighters seized two US carbines, six shotguns, military radios, ammunitions and several gadgets and gutted down mining equipment, including five backhoes, four graders and company vehicles.
The open-pit mining company is owned by transnational Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp., whose environmental compliance certificate was revoked last year by environmental advocate and then Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez for its environmentally-destructive operations, Arce said.
The NPA accused former governor and now Rep. Corazon Malanyaon of allowing the incursion of “destructive” mining companies in the protected areas of the province.
Mil-Oro’s nickel ore-mining operations straddle almost 5,000 hectares of the protected areas of Pujada Bay and Mt. Hamiguitan range, declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site in 2014, the NPA said.
“For almost three years now, masses in the surrounding barangays, especially poor fisherfolk whose livelihood depend on the area’s rich marine biodiversity, have been complaining against the mining operation of Mil-Oro. Many Lumad and peasant families have also been displaced to make way for the expansion of its operation,” Arce said.