PNP wants crackdown on illegal mining operations in Camarines Norte

4 weeks ago
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Says explosive components from IEDs that killed five rookie policemen in Labo came from illegal mining ops

(Eagle News) — The Philippine National Police has called for a crackdown on illegal mining in Camarines Norte, after it found that the explosive components of the improvised explosive devices that killed five policemen in an encounter with New People’s Army rebels had been sourced from illegal mining operations.

In a statement, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Director, Police Major General Albert Ignatius Ferro said clearing operations in Barangay Dumagmang in Labo town, where the 3-hour encounter took place, resulted in the recovery of the 75 IEDs.

Of these, one was of a large size ,16 were small, while 53 were medium-sized IED.

The IEDs also included five Molotov petrol bombs.

Also recovered were a roll of firing wire, 43 non-electric blasting caps, two batteries and an electric blasting cap.

According to Ferro, the explosives component came from illegal mining operations particularly in Labo town, known for its thriving small-scale backyard goldmining activities.

The PNP said if illegal mining operations are shut down, communist rebels would be denied of their source of explosives components for landmines.

National officials have condemned the attack by the CPP-NPA on the remote barangay where a farm to market road was being built that will introduce development to the peasant communities in the area, the PNP said.

The five uniformed personnel who were part of the 7-member team from the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company were guarding the vicinity of the road construction project when they were attacked on Friday, at 9:45 p.m., and the encounter ensued.

The police team had been sent to the area after the construction company informed the local police about receiving a demand letter from local CPP-NPA-NDF forces for payment of 3% to 5% of the cost of the entire Labo-Tagkawayan Road project.

In exchange for the payment, no company equipment would be burnt, the letter said.

Two others were hurt in the attack.

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