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Regional directors, representatives of the government agencies, and some private stakeholders together with Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr. and other officials witness the inauguration of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga’s new Science and Technology Center, as well as the groundbreaking of its Metrology Laboratory at the Caraga State University (CSU) Campus, Barangay Ampayon, Butuan City headed by Regional Director Lyndo Villacorta. (PIA-Caraga)

PIA Press Release
Monday, January 09, 2012

Sen. Pimentel backs Malacañang’s move to run after those responsible over ComVal tragedy

by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) –- Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III supports the move of President Benigno S. Aquino III to run after those people, officials and agencies that are responsible for the landslide in Sitio Diat, Pantukan, Compostela Valley on the dawn of Jan. 5, 2012.

Sen. Pimentel, who was here in the city on Saturday for an engagement in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, said that he is not blaming the local government unit for the incident but those who are responsible must answer what was accorded in the law.

With this, Pimentel said it is not only the local government who must undergo investigation on the matter. He added that concerned government agencies like the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) will also be invited for the said investigation.

“Dili lang ang imbestigayson nga ipatawag nato maglangkob sa mga local officials, i-apil nato ang PAGASA, ang DENR, MGB. (We will not only invite the local officials for investigation, we will also include PAGASA, DENR and MGB.)” Pimentel said.

The senator also said PAGASA should explain why the effects of signal number two is devastating like what happened in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.

“Ang Sendong, signal number two pero 1,200 ang namatay. Dili kani normal kay ang signal number system nato, signal number 5 ang pinakakusog. Can you imagine that? Kinahanglan i-explain kana sa PAG-ASA. (Sendong is signal number two but around 1,200 died. This is not normal since in our signal number system, signal number 5 is the strongest. Can you imagine that? That’s why PAGASA should explain this.)” Pimentel said.

Pimentel said local officials and the DENR should also explain because based on initial investigation, the incident was caused by rampant illegal logging and mining activities in the area.

As of 6:00 a.m. today, Jan. 9, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) said 30 dead bodies have been recovered where 28 of these are already identified. 16 people were injured, nine of which were already identified and 38 were missing in the ComVal tragedy.

Also, four persons who were earlier reported missing were found alive, and out of the nine identified injured, six remain at the Davao Regional Hospital for treatment. (PIA-Caraga)

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