Saturday, February 15, 2014

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA punishes Cagayan mining firm

From the latest English edition of Ang Bayan posted to the CPP Website (Feb 7): NPA punishes Cagayan mining firm

The New People’s Army Henry Abraham Command meted punishment on January 13 on San You Philippines Mining Trade Ltd. in Barangay Catayuan, Lal-lo, Cagayan. The Red fighters destroyed company machinery during the punitive action.

Among the items burned and eventually destroyed were three big ships that were being used to extract magnetite sand from the sea and the Cagayan River; a backhoe; a loader; two dumptrucks; a bulldozer; and the mining company’s conveyors and separators. The NPA likewise confiscated a BSL firearm from a guard as well as office equipment.

Cagayanos have long been demanding a stop to the plunderous activities of San You, Lian Xing Philippines Stone Carving Corp., Philippine Mining Group Holdings, Inc., Shaitan Cagayan Sand and Gravel Corp., and Yin Yii. These companies have been simultaneously extracting mineral resources from more than 13,000 hectares of shoreline in the towns of Lal-lo, Camalaniugan, Aparri and Buguey all the way to Sta. Ana.

These companies’ long and filthy list of crimes has been etched in the people’s collective memory. First, they have been slowly killing entire peasant and fisherfolk communities because of the destruction wrought by the mining activities on the uplands, farms and fishing grounds from which the masses derive their livelihoods.

Second, they have unbridledly stolen the province’s mineral wealth to the detriment of the environment. Third, they have raked in gigantic profits from their plunder but have been paying their workers measly wages.

Since 2007, these conniving foreign corporations have squeezed billions of dollars from their operations in Cagayan. They have a big ship that receives tons upon tons of magnetite sand from five smaller ships and earn up to `70 million from every dumptruck of refined magnetite. Tons of ore are shipped directly to Taiwan, China and other countries for foreign profit, leaving in their wake pitted grounds and ruined rivers and riverbanks. It is clear that this plunder of the province’s natural resources has not benefited the people at all.

The masses have long been fighting these mining companies in various ways. They have filed petitions, held dialogues, launched picket-marches and built barricades. This struggle, which began as far back as 2007, has erupted and spread to all parts of the affected towns. The people have even raised their grievances before Malacañang.

The US-Aquino regime and local politicans who have also profited from foreign mining such as the Enrile dynasty, Cagayan Gov. Alvaro Antonio, Vice Gov. Odi Fausto, 1st District Rep. Sally Enrile, Lal-lo Mayor Florante Pascual, Aparri Mayor Shalimar Tumaru, Buguey Mayor Licerio Antiporda and Gonzaga Mayor Carlitos Pentecostes have all been turning a blind eye to the destruction caused by these mines. Despite the people’s intense opposition, they have granted these foreign vultures 25-year mining permits.

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