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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsMining firm in Agusan closely watching social media account spreading “fake news”

Mining firm in Agusan closely watching social media account spreading “fake news”

By CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur—A mining company is closely monitoring a social media account believed to be spreading “fake news” aimed at besmirching the reputation of its top executive.

The Philsaga Mining Corp. Public Information Office (PMC-PIO) have already reported to the Philippine National Police Cybercrime Division and the National Bureau of Investigation the names involved in the Facebook accounts that scattered false information against PMC president lawyer Raul C. Villanueva.

“They are all reported and we will file charges against them. This will qualify as a cyberlibel violation. not only those who posted it but those wh joined the fray,” read the PMC-PIO statement.

PMC-PIO has also traced the name of owner of the Facebook page called “Ako Agusanon” but they will not reveal it to the public as yet while intelligence operatives are still investigating it.

“ We are considering to file copyright complaint against them for using video footages during the solidarity movement without permission. However, we are not worried about the comments on their posts since it appears that these were dummy accounts or trolls just to boost their engagements,” the PMC-PIO statement said..

PMC-PIO said the solidarity movement referred to the massive movement on April 3 this year staged by the different Manobo lumad communities owning the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title No. 136 to and the Philsaga Employees Labor Union (PSELU) who expressed their all-out support to Villanueva.

Villanueva has been embroiled by allegations by his detractor Joseph Mahusay, barangay chairman of Pansol in Quezon City and the security escort of Jeff McGlinn, managing director of X64 which is the Australian partner of PMC, who claimed he is already PMC president after Villanueva sold his 125,000 shares of stock.

Villanueva said Mahusay has been making last-ditch desperate efforts to assert that he is the new PMC president alleging that Villanueva has already sold his 125,000 shares of stocks even though his name has not been registered in the corporate books and he had not been issued stock certificate.

“ The shares are still in my possession since I never sold it to anybody how much more to Mahusay but he continued asserting himself with lies,” Villanueva said.

Early this year, PMC severed ties with X64 after McGlinn and its Hongkong trading partner Komo Diti’s behest failed to remit some USD 4.8 million for the PMC share depriving the royalties of the indigenous peoples for the CADT 136 where the mining company has been operating.

After the incident, McGlinn set up his own set of board of directors still using PMC’s corporate name with Mahusay, who was his long-time security escort when in the country, installed as the new president.

PMC-PIO was reminded the public not to believe on the news that has been published in national broadsheets over the past few weeks that recognized Mahusay as the new president.

In another related development, Rep. Adolph Edward Plaza ofAgusan del Sur 2nd District, has categorically denied he already recognized a certain Joseph Mahusay, claiming to be the new president of Philsaga Mining Corp. (PMC) based in Barangay Bayugan 3 of this town.

The lawmaker’s denial came in the wake of a news report published in a regional newspaper based in Cagayan de Oro City that Mahusay visited Plaza in his congressional office in Quezon City to inform him that he is the new PMC president and that the latter supported him.

Part of the report said: Mahusay’s designation as the newest president of PMC was affirmed by Congressman Plaza, Representative of District II in the Province of Agusan del Sur, ensuring that all government offices are made aware of the management change.

In the same news report, Mahusay quoted Plaza as saying: “ As legitimate president of PMC, I want to emphasize unequivocally that I wholeheartedly support the current Board and their efforts to date. They have demonstrated unwavering dedication and have proven themselves to be competent and trustworthy custodians of our company’s interests,”

The online news report was taken down on Wednesday morning.

But Plaza denied Mahusay’s claim and told lawyer Raul Villanueva, incumbent PMC president, through a Viber message that he instead told Mahusay that he will not interfere with the issue since it is already a legal case.

“He just laughed off that his name was dragged in Mahusay’s claims,” Villanueva told reporters in a live Zoom interview on Tuesday.

Villanueva showed the screenshot of their conversation through a Facebook Messenger group chat.

He said Rep. Plaza of which PMC is part of his congressional district jurisdiction would not mind if the Viber chat would be used as a reference for the conversation because he wants to clear himself of the still pending legal battle.

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