By EDWIN IYO and NITZ ARANCON
BALINGASAG, Misamis Oriental – The Minergy Power Corp. yesterday called for lasting peace even as it expressed dismay over the disarming of its security team by New People’s Army rebels on Monday.
In a statement, Minergy said its executives were saddened about what it called as an “unfortunate incident” but it remained optimistic about the prospects of lasting peace and progressive growth in communities affected by armed conflict.
The Minergy issued the statement after five guards from its security provider were stopped and disarmed by some 30 heavily armed rebels.
Minergy said the security team members were assigned to watch over the company’s reforestation area at Sitio Bauson in Barangay Quezon, Balingasag.
Minergy also said it would continue to nurture strong partnerships with the local communities in advancing its commitment for social development.
Balingasag police chief Cecilio Orcullo said the NPA took the guards’ five AK47 rifles, a hand-held radio and a cell phone.
No one was hurt.
Orcullo said the guards were going about with their regular morning routine in securing the Minergy property.
Officials said a portion of the property was once used by the company as its source of filling materials for land development works during the construction of its Balingasag power station in 2014.
Minergy said the 10-hectare property, located approximately 12 kilometers from the power plant in Barangay Mandangoa, now serves as the company’s site for one of its reforestation projects, which grows native hardwood trees in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 10, and the local government of Balingasag.
Meanwhile, police have identified at least 15 of the 30 rebels behind the NPA raid, according to Maj. Orcullo.
Orcullo said the police were preparing to press charges of robbery against the suspects, and a case for violation of the International Humanitarian Law.