AFP: Eastern Mindanao suffers P246-M losses from NPA atrocities
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - December 30, 2015 - 1:33am

MANILA, Philippines - Businesses in Eastern Mindanao lost P246.12 million this year because of the atrocities of the communist group New People’s Army (NPA), a military official said Wednesday.

Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman Cpt. Albert Caber said among the businesses affected were construction companies, logging concessions, mining firms and plantations in Surigao del Sur, Compostela Valley and Sarangani.

He said the violent incidents involving the communist rebels include the seven raids against Dole plantations and the attack on the Apex mining site. Military officials said the attacks are related to the NPA’s extortion activities.

The cost of damage for this year was slightly lower than the P300-million recorded in 2014 but way higher than the P30-million posted in 2013. The figures for 2013 and 2014 were based on the information relayed to the media last year by then Eastern Mindanao Command chief Aurelio Baladad  

The amount of damage was higher in the second half of 2015. From P34.71 million in the first quarter, the figure went down slightly to P34.58 million in the second quarter but jumped to P92.72 million in the third quarter. The cost of damage totaled P84.11 million in the fourth quarter.

Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command chief Maj. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the NPA attacks have hampered development and have brought hardships to workers of affected companies.

“If the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front) is sincere about peace and promoting the people’s interest, then they should immediately desist from attacking development projects and legitimate business that serve the interests of and provide gainful employment to our people,” Guerrero said.

Caber said the Eastern Mindanao Command has directed its units to enhance the security of vital industries, projects and businesses in their respective areas.

Troops were also instructed to coordinate with the local police, local governments and the security officers of businesses to prevent untoward incidents.

“The Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) anticipates a rise in extortion activities especially with the numerous development projects being implemented in the region and with the approaching election campaign season,” Caber said.  

“The EastMinCom is therefore appealing to the general public to work closely with security and law enforcement agencies to put a stop to the extortion by the NPA,” he added. 

ACIRC ALBERT CABER ARMED FORCES EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND AURELIO BALADAD COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES COMPOSTELA VALLEY AND SARANGANI EASTERN MINDANAO EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND MILLION NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT NEW PEOPLE
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