NPA reprimands NIA in Davao*
April 21, 2011
The 1st Pulang Bagani Company under the New People's Army Merardo Arce Command in Southern Mindanao Region stopped and sent away eight personnel of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on March 21 while the latter were conducting a meeting in Barangay Mapula, Paquibato Disrict, Davao City.
In its capacity as the instrument of the people's revolutionary government, the NPA reprimanded the NIA for deceiving the people about its irrigation projects, said 1st Pulang Bagani Company commander Ka Parago. In fact, it is the destructive mining companies that are behind these projects.
The NPA also confiscated their vehicle, two cameras, maps, copies of NIA petition forms, membership agreements and identification cards. These items will remain in the custody of the revolutionary masses until the NIA is able to present documents that can fully explain its projects' real objectives.
Many questions have arisen about the irrigation projects in the area because they fall within the 8,391.7642-hectare "mining claim and exploration" of Alberto Mining Corporation in Barangays Mapula, Lumiad and Salapawan.
Aside from the Mapula Communal Irrigation Project, the NIA has other projects in Sitio KTC, Barangay Malabog and Sitio Labo, Barangay Tapak that lie within areas claimed by PENSON and Superfield Mining Corporation.
Paquibato's communities will not be able to benefit from these projects because they are within areas classified as having "minimal Potential Irrigable Areas." These are areas with mountainous or hilly terrain and with heavy limestone deposits.
Ka Parago also belied the NIA's claims that the projects can be availed of for free because beneficiaries are required to sign membership agreements and petition letters where "NIA terms and conditions" stipulate that irrigation services must be paid for during the entire duration of the contract.