Albay Mining Company Braces For Npa AttacksPublished by MAC on 2007-09-05
Albay Mining Company Braces for NPA Attacks
Manila Standard Today.
5th September 2007
Lafayette Phils. has tightened security around its Rapu Rapu polymetallic project following military intelligence reports of an impending New People's Army attack
It will also coordinate closely with Bicol regional Peace and Order Council headed by Albay Gov. Jose Salceda, the military, and the Rapu Rapu residents to protect the region's biggest investor and its roughly 1,000 employees, most of whom are from the island itself.
Bayani Agabin, company spokesman, said the company is taking the threat seriously and has adopted the necessary security measures but declined to give details.
The military intelligence report followed a recent announcement by the NPA to attack foreign mining companies in the country.
At the same time, Cecille Calleja Rapu Rapu Mining Vice President, renewed the project's invitation to Bishop Lucilo Quimbao and the Save Rapu Rapu Alliance to visit its mining operations in response to their accusation that the company "snubbed" last week's multisectoral forum on the socio-economic and environmental impact of mining in Rapu Rapu.
She said, "prior to the forum, we invited them to come to the plant to witness for themselves all the environmental protection measures we have on site and all the improvements we have instituted. We asked them over so that we may have real facts to discuss in the forum and not just dwell on the myths of mining.£
Calleja said that the invitation still stands. "We have always had a policy of openness and transparency. We want them to see what is there now, and not something that existed 18 months ago. We want them to realize how committed we are to responsible mining and environmental protection."
Only last week, Rapu Rapu Processing Inc. was given an ISO 14001 certification, signifying that its existing environmental management system adheres to the highest international standards.
It is the only other local mining company that has earned this international award after Philex Mining, which has been operating the past 50 years. The Rapu Rapu project has been in operation only since 2005 but the certification effort gained impetus under its new Filipino management that took over only on January 16 last year.