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Danding owns NPA-raided Palawan pearl farm

Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - April 16, 2013 - 4:17pm

MANILA, Philippines - Military and police teams were dispatched Tuesday to hunt down the 10 alleged New People’s Army (NPA) members who raided a pearl farm in Palawan owned by President Aquino’s uncle, business tycoon Danding Cojuangco, on Monday.

Reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo said the NPA raiders of the Salvamar Farm (formerly known as the Pearl Farm) at Cadanao Island, Barangay Pangpang in Taytay town belongs to the communist group who’ve trying to establish a guerrilla front in the island province.

“These NPA raiders need gun as they are currently to establish a guerrilla front in the province and we are currently pursuing them,” a senior military official based in the province said.

Disarming the guards of their eight shotguns and five hand-held radios, the group escaped by commandeering the pearl farm’s three pumpboats with the three security guards as hostages.

The three guards and the tree boat operators whom authorities identified as Edgardo Ramos, Marcelo Mellado and Villamor Fernandez, and boat operators Nestor Dula, Marjun Diulon and Jovi Descartin have all returned to Cagdanao island after being released by the rebel captors.

It was learned the Salvamar Farm is part of the Jewelmer Corporation co-owned by Cojuangcos with French national Jacques Branellec.

Jewelmer is a leading producer of exquisite and rare golden Palawan South Sea pearls and actively participates in international trade fairs.

Aside from the Salvamar Farm, 11 other pearl farms are currently operating in several towns of Palawan. – with Kathryna de Bustos

BARANGAY PANGPANG CADANAO ISLAND CAMP AGUINALDO DANDING COJUANGCO EDGARDO RAMOS JACQUES BRANELLEC JEWELMER CORPORATION MARCELO MELLADO AND VILLAMOR FERNANDEZ MARJUN DIULON AND JOVI DESCARTIN SALVAMAR FARM
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