Protecting the Environment, Defending the People
In a swift and well planned offensive, guerrillas from the Armando Catapia Command (ACC) of the New People’s Army (NPA) successfully conducted a punitive action against El Dore Mining Corporation in Barangay Dumagmang, Labo, Camarines Norte on October 3.
Bulldozers, generator sets, and various types of transport vehicles and mining equipment used by the Austrialian mining firm were destroyed. Office and communications equipment, including 3 computer sets were confiscated.
Comrade Jose Buenaobra, NPA Romulo Jallores Command (RJC) spokesperson stated that the “Red fighters of the ACC-NPA Camarines Norte carried out the decision of the People’s court to halt and punish El Dore’s devastating mining operation.” RJC is the regional command of the NPA in Bicol.
Since the start of its operation, El Dore has been forcing the communities to leave areas within its operation’s perimeter. Buenaobra stated that the People’s court find the mining firm responsible for the destruction of the environment, displacing people and livelihood, and wanton plunder of the rich mineral reserves. “We are serious in implementing this policy against large-scale foreign mining operations, especially in areas covered by the People’s Democratic Government” he adds.
Since January, El Dore is the second mining operation in the region that was dealt with by the revolutionary forces. Last April 3, Filmenera Mining Corporation’s operation in Aroroy was put to a halt by an offensive of the Jose Rapsing Command, the NPA command in the island-province of Masbate. Filmenera was evicting communities of farmers and small-scale miners aside from polluting the environment. People also complained that termination fees were not given to workers who for Filmenera when it was still Atlas Mining.
Buenaobra stated that the RJC and the people are always prepared to defend the environment and the remaining natural resources in the region. “We are prepared to punish mining corporations, foreign or local, that operates to destroy and pollute the environment, and disregards the life, livelihood, and property of the people.”
Aside from the Eldore and Filmenera, Lafayette Mining Limited operates a prominent large-scale mining enterprise in the region. Lafayette operates in Rapu-Rapu, Albay. Also an Australian firm, Lafayette gained media limelight two years ago in October 11 when a series of fishkills caused by toxic pollutants was discovered in the vicinity of the mining operation. Further investigation traced the toxics back to Lafayette. Witnesses confirmed Lafayette’s responsibility stating that the firm deliberately released the mine wastes. This resulted in a severe impact on the livelihood and health of the people which they suffer up to now.
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