Dominguez, top mining execs on top of NPA list

Apr. 01, 2008

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, renewed its warning against foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines, Inc., telling the mining firm over the weekend to abandon its huge copper and gold project or brace for violent attacks.

Dencio Madrigal, chief of the Valentin Palamine Command of the NPA’s Far South Mindanao region, also identified several prominent business personalities charged before the group’s “people’s court” for facilitating the firm’s presence in the region.

Among the top personalities on top of the NPA list are Paul G. Dominguez, former president of Sagittarius and presidential assistant for Mindanao during the time of former President Fidel Ramos; and Rolando S. Doria, the firm’s regional and local affairs superintendent, according to the statement.

Madrigal said that the communist rebels have subjected Sagittarius under social investigation to put a stop “to the wholesale plunder and destruction of the nation’s patrimony.”

“[But the] number one accountable for the plunder and destruction of our land and waters is the Arroyo ruling clique, who brazenly facilitated the entry of Xstrata-SMI and gave them blanket authority to exploit our natural resources and repatriate profits with little or no regard for whatever Constitutional provisions left in the protection of our patrimony,” the statement said.

The Communist rebels earlier admitted storming the exploration base camp of Sagittarius in remote Barangay Tablu in Tampakan South Cotabato on New Year’s day, burning some P12 million worth of facilities.

According to Madrigal, the Communist rebels denied having received some P30 million in revolutionary taxes from the mining company as claimed by Doria in a local broadcast interview. He said the rebel group will not accept “blood money” from Sagittarius, which the global mining player Xstrata Copper started to control in March last year.

Doria declined to comment on the rebel’s statement Sunday morning. He said, however, he was concerned for his safety.

At least two sources earlier accused Doria of paying revolutionary tax to the communist guerillas. Doria declined to comment.

The NPA claimed that Dominguez was on top of their list for trial at the “people’s court” for facilitating the entry of large scale mining in south-central Mindanao. As of press time, Dominguez could not yet be reached for comment.

“Dominguez has been an aggressive promoter of “development aggression” resulting to the loss of ancestral lumad lands, the plunder of our natural resources through large scale mining and logging and the corollary marginalization of the lumad and peasantry,” Madrigal said.

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