Criminals not NPAs torched mining equipment

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The Pilipinas Eco-Friendly Mining Corp. (PEFMC) has refused to believe the New People’s Army (NPA) was responsible for the recent destruction of their P120-million worth of heavy equipment.

Joel Obar, the legal counsel of PEFMC, said Thursday the torching was unusual because his client Mark Yu, who owns the company, did not receive any letter from the communist group warning him of any incident.

Obar said that burning was usually done when the communist rebels ask for revolutionary tax.

He said it could be the work of ordinary criminal elements disguising as NPA rebels for a fee, or purely business rivalry as he said there is some friction between those involved in small- and large-scale mining in the municipality.

“Sana itong mga tawo (hopefully, these people) who claimed they are concerned for Negros Oriental should think twice because this is not doing the province any good. It destroys the name of the province and the tourism industry and is not good for the economy of Ayungon, and so the people will get poor,” he said.

Obar added that if those responsible are concerned for Negros Oriental they should stop such kind of activity.

He speculated that the burning was done “because of a business rivalry”.

Obar, however, refused to name names, hoping the incident will not escalate in the future or even during the election.

A statement issued purportedly by the NPA in Negros earlier claimed responsibility for the burning incident last January 1 in Barangay Jandalamanon, Ayungon, saying the mining activity in the area was destroying the environment.

The Philippine National Police in the province also alleged that it was the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which was responsible for the incident. (PNA)