BUTUAN CITY—No one was killed in Monday’s raid by communist rebels on three mining facilities in Claver, Surigao del Norte province, according to a police official and a rebel spokesperson.
Superintendent Martin Gamba, spokesperson of the Caraga police, on Tuesday said that contrary to earlier reports, all security guards at the companies of the Taganito Mining Corp. (TMC) that were raided, were safe and all accounted for.
“The three reported deaths were not true when verified by the Claver town police,” Gamba told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.
The supposed fatalities were initially reported by the Claver police chief, Senior Inspector Diomedes Cuadra, Claver Mayor Rosemarie Gokiangco and Colonel Rodrigo Diapana, commander of the Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur province.
No resistance from guards
Jorge Madlos, spokesperson of the communist-led National Democratic Front in Mindanao, said the reports on the deaths came as a surprise because the New People’s Army guerrillas did not harm any company guard.
Madlos said in a radio interview yesterday that the guards offered no resistance.
“As far as reports from our field commanders are concerned, no company guard was killed or hurt during the raid,” Madlos said.
Gamba said the rebels late Monday freed the two remaining TMC officials they took hostage during the raid. He identified them as TMC group manager Rogel Cabauatan and company chief security officer, Rene Ferenal.
Earlier Monday, TMC resident manager Jose Anievas and another TMC official were also set free by the rebels.