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PIA Press Release

Davao Oriental gov orders mining moratorium to stop "anarchy"

City of Mati, Davao Oriental (8 October) -- Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon has ordered a temporary stoppage of mining activities in the municipalities of Lupon and Banaybanay in a bid to stop the " ongoing anarchy" that caused the lives of many people there srambling for gold and nickel.

"We really have to put a stop to the ongoing anarchy in these minerals-rich towns. I will order a temporary stoppage of all mining activities in these two municipalities," says Gov. Malanyaon during a recent dialogue with all small-scale miners from the towns of Lupon and Banaybanay at the provincial governor's office in the City of Mati.

Gov. Malanyaon said that she was "deeply alarmed" of the presence of many private armies employed by the small-scale miners in these municipalities. "In these places, even if you've got a mining permit from the government, you still cannot operate if you do not maintain private armies. These private armies are now sowing terror among the hapless civilians in these towns. That's why we really have to take the pain now by stopping all the mining activities in these two municipalites until such time that we are able to contain the ongoing violence there." Gov. Malanyaon told the small-scale miners during a dialogue with them in the Capitol.

The Governor said that many "legal miners" or those who operate with mining permits issued by the Provincial Government were not able to operate "because they were shooed away by the heavily armed private armies of miners which do not have mining permits. In these places, mining permits coming from the provincial government are useless if you do not have private armies."

"Besides, the provincial government is not benefiting from your mining operations because practically all of you did not pay taxes to the provincial government. And you are killing each other," says a visibly fuming Gov. Malanyaon.

At least two of the small-scale miners who joined the dialogue with Gov. Malanyaon have protested her plan to impose a moratorium on mining. "We will lose huge amount of money if you will stop our legal mining business. We operate with a mining permit coming from the provincial government. Please ma'm, spare those who operate with mining permit," an unidentified small-scale miner told Gov. Malanyaon.

But another miner said a moratoriom on mining "will really put a stop to the ongoing anarchy especially in Lupon town. Yes, it's painful for us but I think that's the best way, the only solution to restore order in our place. We support your plan, Gov. Malanyaon."

Gov. Malanyaon said that she is really hell-bent on imposing a mining moratorium. "No one can stop me on this. I will order a temporary stoppage of all mining activities in Lupon and Banaybanay towns," Gov. Malanyaon told the miners.

Police investigators, however, have linked the recent killing of an election official in Lupon town to the "ongoing anarchy in the minerals-rich towns of Lupon and Banaybanay. Police investigators said that the municipal election officer of Governor Generoso town, lawyer Sulaiman Alilian, could have been killed by his rivals in the small-scale mining business. (PR/PIA XI) [top]

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