DAVAO CITY – Some 500 farmers and residents in Barangay Ngan in Compostela Valley barricaded a barangay road to block the entry of mining company Agusan Petroleum and Minerals Corp.
The company went to the area with its workers riding on trucks and carrying equipment for drilling.
Jimmy Saypan, secretary general of Compostela Farmers Association said the protesters came from nine puroks of Mambusao in Barangay Ngan and some were from Barangay San Miguel.
Saypan said the barricade started 8:00 am and held an initial dialogue with the manager of the mining company who identified to them as Arnel Jose.
“The manager told us that they have a permit to explore that’s why they will enter the area. But we told them that we will not allow them to start their drilling operations,” Saypan said.
Saypan said another dialogue was held by 6:00 pm but residents maintained the barricade.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region 11 has approved two exploration permits to Agusan Petroleum and Minerals Corporation.
According to the website of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 11, the permits–EP No. 01-11-XI and EP No 02-011-XI were both issued on April 11, 2011.
“The EP 1 area is situated in the Barangays of Ngan, Panalsalan, Pagsabangan, and Mangayon, all in Municipality of Compostela, and Barangay Naboc, Municipality of Monkayo, all in the Province of Compostela Valley, and Barangay Aliwagwag, Municipality of Cateel, Province of Davao Oriental with a combined total area of approximately 9,997.53 hectares,” said MGB XI.
“The EP 2 is situated in the areas of Barangay Ngan, Municipality of Compostela, and Barangay San Miguel, Municipality of New Bataan, both in the Province of Compostela Valley, and Barangay Aliwagwag, Municipality of Cateel, Province of Davao Oriental with a total area of approximately 2,416.91 hectare.”
On March 8-11 this year, the farmers also hold a protest actions against Agusan Petroleum.
Read related story: Typhoon Pablo survivors protest entry of mining company
In previous interviews, Saypan said the entry of the mining company whose permit covers more than 12,000 hectares will affect thousands of farmer residents in the area. The farmers in Compostela were survivors of Typhoon Pablo (International name: Bopha) in 2012. (davaotoday.com)