CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / July 5, 2012) – Communist rebels raided a mining firm on Thursday in the southern Philippines and took hostage at least 3 people, officials said.
Officials said among the captive is the 27-year old son of the company’s owner Vivencio Osite. “Troops are pursuing the rebels who are now holding at least three captives,” Major Eugenio Osias, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, told the Mindanao Examiner.
New People’s Army rebels stormed the VTO mining company in the town of Rosario in Agusan del Sur province at around 5 a.m. They ransacked the mining firm before escaping with their hostages, Osias said.
He said the rebels, about 30 of them, was headed by NPA leader Renato Sayasat, whose group is now demanding automatic weapons from the mining firm in exchange for the safe release of the hostages.
“The kidnappers are now demanding US-made K-3 assault rifles and M16 rifles before they release the hostages. This shows the true colors of the terrorist group,” Osias said.
There was no immediate statement from the firm owner, who is into gold mining operation, but Osias said they are closely coordinating with the local police and the provincial government for the safe recovery of the victims.
“We are ready for whatever actions the local government may take to ensure the safety of the hostages,” Osias said.