Some 20 armed members of the Pulang Bagani group of the New People’s Army seized mining equipment and held personnel of Nicklebase Incorporated at the vicinity of Barangay Babuyan in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur at around 8 a.m. on Monday.
Nickelbase Inc. is a subcontractor of Carrascal Mining Corporation (CMC) operating in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. The NPA group was headed by Ruperto Ponson alias Datu Bakintoy.
Datu Bakintoy’s group is demanding 24 million pesos from the company for the release of an unidentified number of personnel and equipment, a Nicklebase informant said.The equipment and the personnel were released, allegedly without any ransom paid to the hostage-takers, after more than two hours of stand-off with security forces.
The NPA leadership has resorted to extortion activities by attacking business operations in the provinces while the political leaders are attacking the reputations of other entities.
“The problem with the mining companies, they usually arm their security guards to the teeth, but security guards are only there to make a living, they’re not there to die for a war, so those high-powered firearms will only end up in the hands of the NPA,” Mayor Duterte said in an interview on banning mining in Davao City.
The military has been encouraging mining companies and other large-scale industries in the provinces to properly train and arm their security guards.
However, Augustus Esmeralda, Managing Director of Ace And Associates, Inc, averred that the PNP-SOSIA practically reduced the weaponry of the private guard force while some policemen were accused of selling 1,000 pieces of AK-47 assault rifles to the communist rebels.
Esmeralda was referring to the pending case filed against several officers of the Philippine National Police for allegedly selling rifles to the rebels through a gun dealer as conduit.