DAVAO CITY — An official of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in the region gave assurance that he will recommend the cancellation of Agusan Petroleum Mineral Corporation’s mining permits in Compostela Valley Province, provided that he is shown enough evidence to prove the claim of protesters who oppose its entry. MGB 11 director Engr. Edilberto Arreza made the statement last Monday in a dialogue with the leaders of Compostela Farmers Association.
More than 200 farmers and indigenous people’s (IPs) from mining-affected communities from nine villages in Barangay Ngan, Compostela, Compostela Valley have put-up a protest camp in front of MGB XI regional office in Davao City for more than a week.
Hundreds of farmers barricaded the highway in Sitio Nursery, Barangay Ngan, Compostela town last June 19 to oppose the entry of AgPet. Farmers said that the mining operations will greatly affect their source of livelihood and that they will be dislocated.
(Read related story: Farmers put-up camp to halt mining exploration in Compostela Valley)
Environmental group Panalipdan – Southern Mindanao Region (Panalipdan – SMR) spokesperson Prof. Chiara Respecia in a statement to the press said that Arreza “gave the burden on the protesting farmers and lumads to show there is enough evidence for such cancellation.”
Respecia said members of the CFA have already filed a petition letter signed by more than 1000 residents of the nine affected puroks (villages) of Barangay Ngan last April 8.
A resolution by the executive-legislative body of the municipality of Compostela Valley that requested the MGB to cancel Agpet’s mining permit was also recently dismissed by Arreza in a letter to the municipal mayor dated May 14.
Respecia asked Arreza whether the series of protests, is not enough evidence for the MGB to cancel the permit of AgPet. (davaotoday.com)