Army Initiate Security Forum for Mining Companies

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Amidst the emerging threats, the 30th Infantry (Fight On) Battalion under the operational control of 901st Infantry (Fight ‘Em) Brigade, initiated a Security Forum held in Adlay Gymnasium, Barangay Adlay, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, Thursday, October 1.

The activity was purposely conducted to reach out and educate the business sector particularly the mining companies on the menace and scheme of the Communist Terrorist Group.

A total of 51 participants coming from Carrascal Nickel Corporation; VTP Mining Company; Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation; and CTP Construction & Mining Company, including their respective mining contractors and sub-contractors, were in attendance. Representatives coming National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Region 10 also partake in the said event by sharing the internal security situation within CARAGA.

In his message, Col. George L Banzon, Commander of 901Bde, expressed his gratitude to the participants for recognizing the importance of the activity specifically that this have something to do with the preservation of peace and security relative to their business interest.

“This forum is a humble invitation from the security sector but let me clarify that the military has no business infringing to the business affairs of the mining industry, for that is solely under the Caraga Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB Regional Office No. XIII),” he said

He added, “This may not constitute a single centavo income to anyone and may even lost a day’s income or profit but this will allow us to deeply understand the nature of the CTG’s threat and the mechanism on how we are going to address it responsively.”

Col. Banzon reiterated that the sole purpose of the forum is to inform them, being in the mining business, that more than half of the NPA extorted amount nationwide emanated from the mining industry. As per record, Caraga’s mining industry contributed 32% or P85.9M to the total nationwide NPA extortion collection.

“If the mining industry will not shift from seemingly practicing profit-first policy to security-first policy, NPA extortion will never ceased, and NPA will continue to thrive and continue to extort from the mining industry. They must cease to give-in to NPA’s demand – either monetary, in-kind or services, as the case may be”, he explained.

The Brigade Commander also emphasized that they must be cognizant that security is a shared responsibility. He also gave assurance that the military will be of help should they opted to avail authorized security assistance like the activation of CAA-II to boost the in-house security of each mining company.

“We encourage all to freely reach out the military and police for any information relating to NPA extortion such as identity (in whatever form) of those demanding or collecting extortion, mode of remittance and how much is being extorted, including the frequency, if possible”, he added.

Towards the end of the forum, the participants were very appreciative and thankful of the said initiative. They were capacitated with a better understanding about the current internal security situation particularly the exploitation and extortion schemes being done by the communist NPA terrorists. Along this line, the activity served as venue for the unit to lay down possible courses of action that the corporate organizations may implement to be more resilient and thrive profitably. Further, said companies even pledged to support and espouse activities to strengthen security measures in their respective areas.