The Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New Peoples Army in Central Negros issued a statement extending its sympathy to the victims of the recent earthquake that claimed the lives of 82, including children, with 61 missing.
The statement dated February 17 said that while the tragedy was a natural occurrence, it was triggered by man-made actions that resulted in the destruction of the environment and irresponsible actuations of certain local officials.
If further claimed that mining operations are undertaken in several barangays in Guihulngan, such as phosphate mining in barangays Hibaiyo, Imelda and Bulado and manganese mining in Brgy. Calupaan, in violation of the provisions of the Mining Act of 1995, under Republic Act No. 7942.
It also reiterated its criticisms on the mining exploration of the Tanon Strait conducted by Japan Petroleum Exploration, which they claimed has also contributed in the destruction of marine life in the seawaters between the island of Negros and Cebu.
It also called on all its units to contribute and raise funds for relief operations, claiming it has 150,000 mass base members in Central Negros. At P10 each, Ka JB Regalado of the LPC said, they will be able to raise P1.5 million, and reiterated a stern warning against mining corporations who it claimed are in cahoots with local government executives in mining operations in their areas.*JG