LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, June 9 (PIA) -- The Police Regional Office – Cordillera condemned the lawless and treacherous actions perpetrated by the alleged members of the rebel forces at the Lepanto Mine site in Mankayan, Benguet Wednesday night.
Based on police report, members of alleged New People’s Army attacked at around 10:50 evening on June 7 the dam area of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation. Among the structures attacked were the chemical and mineral laboratory owned by Xian Jinrui Lianliungang, located at Cabatuan, Colalo, Mankayan, and Dam 5 Gate where a fire fight ensued between the perpetrators and personnel from the 54th Infantry Batallion of the 5th ID, Philippine Army.
PFC Arthur Bag-ay sustained minor injury while Jerson Guisguiswoang Awini, a heavy equipment operator was accidentally hit by a stray bullet.
In a clearing operation led by Mankayan Police Station PCI Ronnie Albino and the Benguet Provincial Public Safety Company PSupt. Edward Aquintey, damaged were a newly built municipal structure, one backhoe owned by Brgy. Chairman Ambino Padawi and a floating machine for processing copper owned by businessman Jian Lianlungang . All were destroyed with the use of unidentified explosives.
A lime mixing plant and one bulldozer owned by Flores Construction were also destroyed by explosives. Two unexploded bombs were left in the bulldozer and backhoe.
The NPA’s Chadli Molintas Command claimed they were responsible for the destruction of heavy equipment and structures at Lepanto Mining Corporation saying this is their retribution to the big mining companies and government for protecting these companies.
PRO-Cor said the attack is a desperate move of the terrorist organization to get rid of the AFP troops that have been very effective in countering the NPA/CPP/NDF activities in the said mining area. “Once again, they have proven their modus which is to sow terror if only to pursue their lawless purpose, contrary to their claim of protecting the people.”
The case is under investigation to determine the identities of the assailants for their possible arrest and neutralization.
Meanwhile, the PROCOR assures the public that security measures are implemented to ensure the safety of all potential targets including government vital installations, power lines, private companies and threatened municipal police stations to ensure that they are adequately manned by security personnel.
Officials appeal to the public to be extra vigilant at all times and to foster and uphold the spirit of volunteerism by providing timely information and support to the various law enforcement agencies to win the war against terrorism and lawlessness.
Mayor Materno Luspian also called on the rebel forces to stop the atrocities being done in Mankayan and other places where properties and lives are being at risk. He appealed to the NPA leaders to lay down their weapons and talk to the government forces to ensure peace and order in the community. (RMC/PIA CAR with PRO-Cor)