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Arroyo orders military to guard Mindanao mining areas

MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Thursday ordered the military in Mindanao to guard mining sites against attacks by the New People's Army (NPA) and other armed groups. Radio dzBB's Aileen Intia reported that President Arroyo, during a visit to Surigao province, issued the order for the deployment of military units which she called the "investment defense force." But she stressed that while guarding mining sites, the military should also ensure that the rights of indigenous communities are not violated. President Arroyo also ordered the military to undertake "civic action" programs and coordinate with local communities to win their support. The NPA had been linked to a number of attacks on mining sites, amid the Arroyo government's efforts to attract investments from mining firms abroad. - GMANews.TV