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Philippines Maoists claim success against mining company project.

MAOISTS in the Philippines say that they are foiling the army in its attempts to clear land for a large-scale mining project.

The guerilla New People’s Army (NPA) announced details on Monday of its recent sniping operations against troops — part of its bid to stop the project’s development.

It claimed to have left three soldiers dead and one wounded during its attacks on their camps in Samar province.

According to the NPA, troops have informed residents that they are there to enable the project by Marcventures Holdings, which is seeking to exploit 12,231 hectares of bauxite-rich land.

The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which promotes Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and has been engaged in armed conflict with the state since 1969 — the world’s longest communist insurgency.

“In other countries, bauxite mining has caused widespread and irreversible ecological destruction to lands, rivers and communities near the site of the mining operations,” the NPA’s statement said.

It noted the 2015-2016 bauxite-mining disaster in Kuantan, Malaysia, where unregulated activity caused major pollution to the soil and water, leading the government to ban bauxite mining in the area for several years.

The NPA warned that the Samar bauxite project may result in “grave damage” to the lives and livelihoods of thousands of residents.

It said that authoritarian President Rodrigo Duterte is deploying troops to act as “a security force” for the mining company, exposing the government’s “greed and anti-people character.”

“Duterte prioritises the costly and futile counter-insurgency operations to secure income for big capitalists, at the expense of health-care services, education and livelihood assistance that are much more needed by the people now,” its statement said.


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