Rebel Attacks on Mining Companies in the Philippines

3 October 2011

The Correspondent in the Philippines, Pandiman Philipinnes Inc, has warned the Association that “rebel forces of the New Peoples Army (NPA) have attacked nickel ore mines in the Surigao region. The attacks are currently ongoing at Taganito Mining Corp and PGMC, the rebels destroying and burning mining equipment and offices. We understand hostages have been taken. We have three vessels currently attended by surveyors in the vicinity and they cannot leave the vessel due to the violence ashore. We are contacting the IG Clubs involved directly in regards to these vessels … Tugs and landing craft used by mining companies have been bombed. This is a serious situation and we strongly recommend that any owners whose vessels are being chartered to load nickel ore at ports in the Philippines check with their club and liaise with ourselves to clarify the loading area and current status.”

For the news reports and background please click here and here. In the meantime the latest local press release received from the Correspondent is as follows:-

 “MANILA, Philippines - Suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels killed three security guards and took hostage employees of a mining company in Claver town, Surigao del Norte, this morning, officials said.

The military reported that at least 200 heavily-armed rebels raided the Taganito Mining Company in Barangay Taganito, Claver town at past 8 a.m. The rebels shot dead the three guards securing the main gate of the company's compound. A report by state-owned media Philippine News Agency said that as of noon today, military and police teams are engaged in fierce gunfight with the rebels. Major Eugenio Osias, spokesperson of the Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division, said that the rebels have barricaded the mining company's office compound with dump trucks and heavy equipment. Osias added that the rebels also planted an undetermined number of landmines around the compound, which makes it difficult for the police and military personnel to get near the site.

Meanwhile, a report by radio dzMM said that according to Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz, spokesman of the Philippine National Police, the rebels have taken hostage the mining company's manager and other employees. Cruz also reported that another group of rebels launched an attack at the Platinum Metals Group Corp. in Barangay Cagdianao, also in Claver town. The police spokesman said that the Philippine Air Force has dispatched two Huey helicopters to augment the security forces locked in a fierce gunfight with the rebels.”

Should Members plan to have any vessels (whether as owners or charterers) call in the Philippines, as per the Correspondent’s advice, Members are recommended to liaise with their usual contact at the Association and/or with the Correspondent to clarify the position and/or take appropriate steps.