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PIA Press Release
2009/02/23

Bugueyenos condemn mining operation along coastal zones

Tuguegarao City (23 February) -- With placards and streamers, some 500 fisherfolks, farmers, youths, and officials demonstrated at the Capitol grounds to air their opposition against the magnetite mining operation in their area. They likewise asked Governor Alvaro Antonio to issue a temporary restraining order for the operator.

The group feared that the operation will cause mass destructions to their livelihood and may cause extensive damages during calamities because of the extraction of magnetite sands along their shores.

In a dialogue with Governor Alvaro Antonio, the group aired their grievance against the issuance of a permit to Mr. Renato Alaryao to operate in a 19 hectares magnetite mining area.

The group said the permit is illegal considering the fact that the residents were not consulted during the conduct of a public hearing and they were not also informed about the project.

Gov. Antonio answered by saying permit issued was legal because it passed legal process.

Antonio said before he issued the permit to operate, the operator secured and complied with the other requirements and documents such as the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and the people of Buguey were also consulted through a public hearing.

The Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) also carefully studied the application of Alaryao before they endorsed the issuance of permit to the governor.

Gov. Antonio insisted that the issuance of permit has undergone legal process that no amount of protests or dialogues could cause the cancellation of the permit or stop the operation.

"If you want that the permit be cancelled, you go through proper forum. File a case in the proper court and let the court decide on its legality," Antonio explained.

Out of frustration to get a favor from the governor to stop the mining operation in the area, the group decided to file a case in court and planned a bigger rally until the mining operations will be stopped. (PIA Cagayan) [top]

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