Mayor denies Aparri as source of magnetite sand
Tuguegarao City (5 January) -- Mayor Ismael Tumaru of Aparri, Cagayan has explained that the magnetite iron sand loaded in the capsized vessel off the coast of Claveria town did not come from his municipality as being perceived by his constituents and other officials.
Tumaru said the ill-fated MV Namyang 8 was docked only in Aparri port, the nearest port from Catayauan, Lal-lo, Cagayan to where the black sand were extracted.
"May I please clear that the capsized vessel was only anchored in Aparri port and the black sand that caused its sinking did not come from my town, it came from Lal-lo," Tumaru said.
The issue became controversial when the Korean vessel MV Namyang 8 capsized few hours after it left Aparri port before New Year. Based on the police report, the ship capsized due to the weight of the magnetite sand which was mixed with water when the ship had encountered big waves.
Mayor Tumaru also showed the letter sent to him by the corporate secretary of San You Philippines Mining Trade Inc., Florante Paat, asking for the consideration of the mayor for the temporary anchorage of 2 barges being utilized in the loading of the magnetite iron sand from Catayauan, Lal-lo to a newly arrived cargo vessel "Namyang 8".
"This letter proves that the magnetite sand loaded in Namyang 8 came from Lal-lo and not extracted within our coastal zones", Tumaru added.
Tumaru further stated that there is no dredging operation in his area of responsibility.
On the other hand, Lal-lo Mayor Maria Olivia B. Pascual confirmed that the black sand came from her municipality but she cleared that the sand were old stock, extracted before the issuance of cease and disease order (CDO) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
"The sand was old stock and it was being processed here before the issuance of a CDO from DENR… no mining or dredging operation now in Lal-lo", Pascual said.
She further explained that they allowed the transport of the sand because it was being permitted by the Philippine Port Authority (PPA), Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the taxes were already paid to the barangay, municipal and provincial government.
Pascual stated that it was extracted from a dredging activity done before the issuance of a CDO, when the Sangguniang Bayan of Lal-lo approved the conduct of dredging operations to clear the waterways in the Cagayan River as one way to resolve flooding in the area.
She further cleared that 40 percent of the proceeds went to the barangay, 30 percent to the municipality and 30 percent to the province.
The Mayor also appealed to some politicians not to add political color to the issue at hand.(Oliver B./PIA 2) [top]