Suspected communist rebels burned the drilling equipment of a mine firm conducting an exploration in Madrid town, Surigao del Sur province over the weekend, police said.
Police Lieutenant Gildo Ruasa, Madrid police chief, said that unidentified gunmen believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas and numbering about 50, arrived at the exploration site of First Highlander Mining Corp. in Nakatindog, Barangay Bayugo at 7:00 a.m. Saturday and set ablaze several drilling equipment.
Ruasa said they counted at least four pieces of drilling machine set on fire by the rebels.
Authorities estimated the damage at about P4 million.
Five hours later, a backhoe owned by 4D Ventures was also torched by suspected communist guerrillas in another location in the same mountain village .
First Highlander Mining which is reportedly owned by tribe leaders had been exploring the area for several months now and was operating through an exploration permit issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
Ruasa said he believed that the twin attacks were due to the failure of the companies to give in to demands for revolutionary taxes.
Nevertheless, Ruasa said that authorities were still investigating the motives behind the latest attacks. By CLC