Philippines: NPA Shuts Down Logging Operation, Seizes Arms
Posted by Ka Frank on December 8, 2009
Ang Bayan, November 21, 2009
Victorious NPA Offensive: Raid on SUDECOR
New People’s Army Front 30 seized 13 automatic rifles consisting of two M14s, five Garands and six carbines on November 11 in a raid on the office of the Surigao Development Corporation (SUDECOR) in Barangay Pakwan, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur. The guerrillas conducted the disarming operation without firing a single shot.
After disarming the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) and SUDECOR guards, the Red fighters confiscated seven chainsaws from the company. The people’s guerrillas also destroyed four bulldozers, two log yarders, a timber jack, a crane, two dumptrucks and a welding machine.
The objective of this punitive action was to put a stop to SUDECOR’s logging operations, said Ka Maria Malaya, National Democratic Front-Northeastern Mindanao Region (NDF-NEMR) spokesperson. She added that it was about time they ended the company’s plunder and relentless destruction of the environment and people’s livelihood.
The company uses bulldozer dragging, a method where bulldozers drag felled logs and destroy small trees in their path. The method likewise erodes the soil and contributes to the siltation of rivers. SUDECOR has thus been responsible for the rapid destruction of the environment and has been depriving the national minorities and settlers of their livelihood, said the NDF-NEMR spokesperson.
That same day, combined forces of the 58th IB Philippine Army, 1405th PNP Provincial Mobile Group (PMG) and SCAA attempted to defend the company and were ambushed. This resulted in the death of nine 58th IB elements, a policeman and two SCAA elements after they were hit by command-detonated explosives (CDX) along Kilometer 10 of the same town. Twelve other soldiers were wounded.
SUDECOR is owned by the big comprador bourgeois Puyat family. It has wrought havoc for more than four decades in Surigao’s forested areas. As a result, Surigao now has only 3,000 hectares of virgin forests, down from the previous 69,000 hectares.