- Posted July 24, 2012 by
Pols in mining could face charges -- MGB
MATI CITY -- The politicians allegedly involved in the small-scale mining operations in Davao Oriental could possibly face charges especially if proven that some government-owned equipments were used for the said mining operation.
This was the warning made by Mines and Geosciences Bureau 11 chief Edilberto Arreza after being informed of the report by the task force mining created by Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat to look into the gold-rush site in the borders of barangay Don Salvador Lopez in Mati City and Tarragona town.
In a report before the first City Peace and Order Council on Monday, Mati City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Eddie Cobacha said that several known personalities have tunnels in the gold-rush site.
"We met (Don Salvador Lopez) barangay captain Miones and he gave us information about the recent situation where big mining owners and their groups are now in the area like Tata Sala, Chong Uy, Golden Palace of Tagum City and owners from Zamboanga, Calapagan and Maragusan," Cobacha said in his report.
"Furthermore, we were also informed that there is one bulldozer working in the roads and was allegedly operated by the incumbent Mayor of Cateel (Camilo Nuñez)....there were 5 Saddam trucks full with ore allegedly owned by the Mayor of Cateel transporting the said mineral to be processed in Barangay Marayag, Lupon," added the Cenro official.
Arreza said among the violations possibly committed by the politicians are abuse of authority, unbecoming of a public official and illegal mining.
The MGB chief said though that a complaint must be filed before the proper forum for the miner politicians to face justice.
As of this writing Tuesday, efforts to get the side of Mayor Nuñez proved futile. Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy meanwhile shrugged off the alleged involvement of his brother, Tagum City Mayor Rey "Chong" Uy in the Tarragona gold-rush mining.
The Uy brothers are known financiers of small-scale mining operations in Diwalwal before entering politics.
Cobacha, along with other task force members, went to the gold-rush site last July 9 upon the order of Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat. Rabat said the task force's main concern is on the peace and order and security, health and sanitation, and disaster risk assessment.
Cobacha said there are about 100 tunnels and around three to five thousand people in the area. The official also observed several motorcycles with no registrations that are plying the route from Mati City to the mining area.
Cobacha said there was also indiscriminate cutting of trees in the area. He said the trees were used in the mining operation inside the tunnels.
Photos taken by the task force in the area showed several mining equipments and tailings pond used and constructed by the small-scale miners.
Cobacha said the mining operation in the mountain is also affecting two rivers that would eventually reach Mayo Bay. The picturesque Dahican Beach is along Mayo Bay which is also home to endangered dugongs, marine turtles, dolphins and whale sharks. BOT