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NPA eyed in Palawan pearl farm raid

Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - April 17, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Authorities are pursuing 10 alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who raided the other day a pearl farm in Palawan owned by President Aquino’s uncle, business tycoon Danding Cojuangco.

Reports said the raiders of the Salvamar Farm (formerly known as Pearl Farm) in Cagdanao Island, Barangay Pangpang, Taytay town, were members of the communist group, which has been trying to establish a guerrilla front in the island province.

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

The rebels took eight shotguns and five hand held radios from the security guards and fled on board three pumpboats owned by the farm.

The raiders also took with them three security guards as hostage. 

The three guards identified as Edgardo Ramos, Marcelo Mellado and Villamor Fernandez, and the three boat operators identified as Nestor Dula, Marjun Diulon and Jovi Descartin have been released by the rebels and have returned to Cagdanao island.

Sources said the Salvamar Farm is part of the Jewelmer Corp. owned by the Cojuangcos and their partner, French national Jacques Branellec.

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

Aside from the Salvamar Farm, 11 other pearl farms are currently operating in Palawan.

BARANGAY PANGPANG CAGDANAO ISLAND DANDING COJUANGCO EDGARDO RAMOS JACQUES BRANELLEC JEWELMER CORP MARCELO MELLADO AND VILLAMOR FERNANDEZ MARJUN DIULON AND JOVI DESCARTIN NESTOR DULA NEW PEOPLE SALVAMAR FARM
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