Labor group says death of 4 miners caused by violations of safety standards

Mar. 03, 2016

DAVAO CITY – A militant labor group said the death of four miners in a tunnel in gold-rich Mt. Diwata in Compostela Valley is a result of grave violations of safety standards in the workplace.

As of Monday, February 29 the official report released by the Punong Barangay of Barangay Mt. Diwata, Pedro J. Samillano, Jr. states that four died among the 13 casualties.

The accident happened Saturday night, February 27 in Sitio 1, Australia Tunnel, Mt. Diwata, Monkayo town.

Those who died include miners Gilbert Bayot, Reymart Pegaret, and Reynante Gimeno. Rescuer Ernesto Loquinia who attempted to rescue the victims. His body was recovered at 11:00 AM on Sunday, February 28.

Three miners – Bryan Monson, Richard Monson and Roel Dacaldacal are still missing.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of four fellow workers in a mining accident last Saturday. We send our condolences to their families and friends. We hope that the three other miners who went missing would be found alive,” said Elmer Labog, chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno.

Labog said: “No worker should die because of their workplaces.”

He said the death of four miners “could only be the result of grave violations of safety standards in the workplace.”

Labog recalled that after the death of nine workers in Semirara Mining Corporation in Caluya, Antique “the Department of Labor and Employment, through its secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, said it has no powers over mining companies’ compliance with safety standards.”

“The DOLE said it has no labor law compliance indicators when it comes to mining sites. It added that mine safety, and health and sanitation fall within the ambit of either the Department of Energy or the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, depending on the company’s end-product,” he said.

“We are calling for an immediate and independent investigation into this accident and the death of our fellow workers,” said Labog. (

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