The New People’s Army-South Cotabato carried out a punitive action against the ABU-Gemma Construction Company, a local contractor of major government infrastructure projects in the Far South Mindanao Region. The action took place on June 15,2020 in Purok Pag-asa, Brgy. Veterans, Surallah town. Several company heavy equipments were burned in the said incident. Damages are estimated to cost at least 23 million pesos.
The punishment was enforced to neutralize the firm’s road construction operations directly serving the severely environment destructive large-scale mining and expansion of agribusiness plantations. The US-Duterte regime is perfidiously pushing these projects despite the onslaught of COVID 19 pandemic which is attributed to environmental degradation.
The construction company’s owner also operates over a hundred hectares of banana plantation in T’boli, South Cotabato.
The people of South Cotabato has long been opposed to Tampakan copper-gold project, San Miguel Energy Corporation’s coal mining in Ned, Lake Sebu, and the multinationals Dole Philippines and Sumifru’s aggressive expansion of its pineapple and banana plantations and use of aerial spraying which has adverse effects to the people’s health and the environment.
Road constructions linking even the remotest of communities in the province are all disguised as “development projects” but are actually made for easy transport of these companies’ products and heavy equipments.
In this time of a pandemic crisis, the US-Duterte regime should focus on building more hospitals, medical facilities and schools. It must concentrate more on allocating bigger budget to health programs and services that directly benefit the people – not on road constructions funded through the graft-laden Build! Build! Build program that only the bureaucrat capitalists and their favored contractors profit through kickbacks and cuts in overpriced government infrastructure projects.#
Ka Gary Angeles