P109m lost in rebel raid on mining firm
TAGUM CITY—At least P109-million worth of vehicles and equipment were destroyed after communist rebels stormed a nickel mining firm in Mati City, Davao Oriental, on Saturday, authorities on Sunday said.
A total of 27 vehicles and other equipment were destroyed after 15 New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas swooped down on the compound of Mil-Oro Mining Corp. and its general contractor, Frasec Ventures Corp., in Macambol village, reports from the military’s 701st Infantry Brigade said.
The raid, which lasted for over two hours, began when the rebels barged into the compound around 4:30 a.m. and overpowered guards, according to Chief Insp. Leonilo Lad, Mati City deputy police chief.
The rebels also took off with five shotguns and two Carbine rifles from Mil-Oro guards and scores of rounds of ammunition.
According to the military, damage to the two compounds was estimated at P109,600,000.
The report said guerrillas also took nine handheld radios, three GPS (global positioning system) gadgets, a laptop, a printer, a digital camera, two wristwatches and a pair of shoes.
The raid took place a few hours after NPA rebels, who wore police uniforms, also attacked the office of a security agency in Bukidnon.
Owned by the Makati City-based Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp., Mil-Oro’s 5,000-hectare area is located between two protected areas—Pujada Bay, a marine sanctuary, and Mt. Hamiguitan, a Unesco-declared world heritage site.
In Valencia City, suspected NPA members also barged into the office of the Davao Security and Investigation Agency and took weapons on Friday night, the police said.
In a report, the Northern Mindanao Police Office said the rebels wore police uniforms to deceive the guards. —FRINSTON LIM AND JIGGER JERUSALEM
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