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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, March 9, 2018
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‘Rival MMC group disarmed guards’


Unidentified armed men who disarmed six security guards of G-Holdings Inc. at the defunct Maricalum Mining Corp. compound in Brgy. San Jose, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, last week, are not members of the New People’s Army.

This was disclosed last night by Supt. Ray Cuanico, provincial chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, who conducted a probe of the disarming incident Wednesday.

Based on their initial investigation, Cuanico said the disarming was the handiwork of a rival group, that he did not identify.

There are four groups claiming the levied scrap materials at the defunct MMC mine site.

Cuanico said they will investigate the new claims.

The eight suspects, who were clad in military uniforms, wearing bonnets and armed with M-14 and M-16 assault rifles with M-203 grenade launchers, divested the six members of Ultrafine Security Agency, based at the ECO Park of the MMC compound, of five 12 gauge shotguns with ammunition, a 9mm caliber pistol and their cellular phones.

Investigations of the Sipalay police showed that the suspects fled towards a warehouse, where they were fetched by a white van.

The Regional Civil Security Unit 6 of the Civil Security Group, accompanied by the Sipalay City police force, yesterday inspected the mine site, following complaints that another security agency hired by a claimant, took over the post vacated by security guards, who were invited for questioning by the National Bureau of Investigation operatives, in search of illegal firearms.

Chief Inspector Romeo Vargas, Sipalay City police chief, said last night that the RCSU 6 led by Supt. Jomil Jonh Trio ordered the Assault Security Agency to pull out its seven personnel from the area, which they complied with.

Vargas said the deployment of new security personnel was done, without any coordination with the local police

Trio, on the other hand, said the license to operate of Assault Security Agency had already expired, and they were ejected for violation of SOSIA (Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies) SOP 007-8, or the guidelines and procedures for security agencies in the deployment of security guards on properties with conflicting claims.

The National Mines and Allied Workers Union is contemplating to file charges against the NBI agents who brought their 21 security guards at MMC to the Bacolod NBI office Monday, its leader Arnel Araneta said.

NBI Bacolod chief Renoir Baldovino yesterday said they will answer any charges against them, stressing that it was NBI-Manila that was the lead agency in the implementation of search warrant.

Baldovino said they only acted as support.

He also said that one of the confiscated firearms had no license, while others had expired licenses.*GPB


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