Explosion rocks Philex Mining office in PasigBy Jamie Marie Elona
Agence France-Presse, INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines – A hand grenade hurled by riding in tandem suspects went off in front of a mining office in Pasig City before dawn Friday, a report from Radyo Inquirer 990AM said.
The report quoted Pasig City chief of police, Superintendent Alfredo Calamaan, as saying that a still unidentified type of hand grenade exploded in front of Philex Mining Corporation located at No. 27 Brixton Street, Barangay (village) Kapitolyo, Pasig City past 3 a.m. Friday.
Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that the pre-dawn blast near the Philex Mining Corp. compound gate caused no casualties or serious damage, said Mike Toledo, a spokesman for the firm, which is the Philippines’ biggest gold miner and has moved into energy exploration.
“Two men aboard a motorcycle threw a grenade which landed about three to four metres (10-13 feet) away from the perimeter wall. It caused minor damage to the wall but fortunately no one was harmed,” he told AFP.
Police are looking into the possible involvement of communist rebels in the attack and a similar blast at the same site on June 2, when again no-one was hurt, district police chief Superintendent Alfredo Calama-an said.
Investigators are looking into intimidation as possible motive behind the attack, the report said.
Communist rebels frequently attack mining projects in rural areas for extortion purposes, but company spokesman Toledo said he was not aware of any threats against Philex.
The firm will be boosting security, he added.
In recent months, a heated debate raged over the Philippine mining industry as President Benigno Aquino III prepared an order to revamp it.
Environmentalists, tribal groups, church leaders and nationalists criticised the damage mining caused, while businessmen cited its contributions to the economy.
Aquino released his mining order on July 9, tightening environmental safeguards while aiming to boost revenues from the industry. With reports from Nathaniel Melican, PhilippineDaily Inquirer