3 foreign firms sued for illegal mines


UNABATED illegal mining continues in the interior part of Iponan River in Cagayan de Oro City, giving its water a murky orange look. Firms owned by Chinese and Koreans have been tagged responsible for the environmental destruction. RICHEL V. UMEL/INQUIRER MINDANAO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Four companies issued quarry permits by the city government to extract sand and gravel in the hinterland Iponan River were actually mining for gold, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

Cases of mineral theft, illegal exploration and disobedience to persons of authority have been filed against KFNET, Philippine Long Sangda Corp., South Ocean Mining Corp. and Yellow Stone Minerals and Development Corp., said Rex Monsanto, the bureau’s regional chief.

Except for the Filipino-owned Yellow Stone Minerals and Development Corp., the mining firms are operated by either Chinese or Korean nationals.

Mining in the river has been blamed for the environmental destruction and siltation of the waterway. In December last year, when Tropical Storm “Sendong” suddenly struck the city, the Iponan overflowed and flooded low-lying barangays, killing close to 2,000 people in the city and neighboring Iligan City.

Monsanto said the firms had been using their dredging barges along the Iponan River in the city’s upland area for gold-mining activities. The barges have been abandoned by the miners since the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) filed the cases early this month.

Councilor President Elipe, chair of the city council’s committee on environment, said only quarry permits had been issued to the companies. He earlier denied the existence of mining in the river.

Last month, authorities arrested two Chinese nationals who operated in the Iponan River using four barges. The city prosecutor’s office, however, dismissed the cases filed against the Chinese, saying the DENR was not a party to the filing of the charges.

The Higaonons, an indigenous group of people in Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon that has been living along the river, are asking Mayor Vicente Emano and Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno to allow them to use the abandoned barges for their own sand and gravel extracting operations.

Datu Kadayunan Melenio Minister said the leaders of the Office of the Higaonon Tribal Association Administrative Council of Datus signed a resolution appealing to the mayor to allow the tribe to operate its own sand and gravel business.

The group said it could earn money making hollow blocks and selling gravel for road improvement projects in inner barangays.

An environmental group, Sulog, is seeking a moratorium on all extractive activities in the river.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

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  • jr_06498

    Anong klaseng gobiyerno mayroon tayo dito sa Pilipinas, Ginagahasa na ng mga dayuhan ang ating mga lupaing yaman wala man lamang kayong kaalam alam. Ito ba ang klaseng gobiyerno ni P. Aquino? Sino na naman ang nag kakuwarta sa DENR? 

    • beerhunters

      Who else but the local officials who issued the sand and gravel extraction permit! In the guise of extracting sand and gravel, the miners actually dredged the river for gold! Although Local officials claims authority on the issuance of permits for Small Scale mining and Sand &Gravel, they turn a blind eye in the implementation of the laws, rules and regulations on mining  for political expedience, convenience and “deligence” (cam shaw)!

      • jr_06498

        Expect the next problem of the government is about mercury pollution on that river.

  • Luthmar

    Chinese na naman ang involve?  Ano ba yan?  Kung hindi drugs, mining.  I’m sick and tired of these f—ing Chinese.  They did it in Africa, Ghana, I think it was.  They were also
    caught.  Whether they are now in jail or deported back to China, who knows.   

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    national gov’t, lgu, pnp at military anyari? bakit napabayaan mag-operate ang mga illegal miners na ito na hindi pinapansin ng mga nasa itaas? Marami na pala tayo milyonaryo ngayon na bulag, pipi at bingi! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ralph.abragan Ralph Vincent T. Abragan

    Point of clarification, This companies sued by DENR-MGB are using dummy and false identities, EMB did not recall their ECC’s issued even in complete knowledge of the illegal activity, as of this time hinterland operations of illegal mining continues unabated. even operated by brgy. Chairmen in the areas along the river. some of this mining companies are tenants of City councilor Elipe who is the chairman at the same time on the committee on City’s environment, the City mayor issued a stoppage order but only in paper and has not arrested anybody nor implemented his order, in a matter of fact this brgy. Chairmen who are operating this illegal activities are his loyalist and now are using this tribal communities working for a petition to grant sand and gravel livelyhood sort of. so pathetic it is.

  • Danny Bravo

    may  kasabwat  ito  malaki  ang  damage  meaning  matagal  na  ito,,,,  kayo  na  rin  ang  papatay  sa  inyong  lahi yan  lang  inviromen  ang  inyong  magiging  wall  sa  darating  na  malaking  disastro  sinisira  pa  ninyo  o  bibilang  na  din  kayo  sa  bibitayin  ,,,this  is  not  a  joke  and  this  is  real  and  you  are  close  now,,,,kung  may  hulugan  kang  kotse  hindi  pa  bayad  nandiyan  na  ang  sinasabi  kong  disaster

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    Ibig bang sabihin na walang kinalaman dito si Sec. Paje?
    O wala ba silang alam na nagyayari ito?
    Either way, nagpabaya sila at nagkulang sa kanilang mga tungkulin.

    • beerhunters

      Yes! Sec.Paje has no more business in this incident, because the power to grant small scale mining and sand and gravel extraction permits now belongs to the provincial government! The provincial government has usurped the authority of the national gov’t with complete disregard of the philippine mining laws by enacting laws that determine what mining methods are to be allowed in their respective area. In Mindanao, a province passed a law prohibiting the “open pit mining method” in their area!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V7W2T7T2N37DLVYJSM2OV4GJ4A Ramon S

    Imposebling ngayon lang ito nalaman na hindi pala sand and gravel quarry ang ginagawa ng mga kumpanya na ito But INSTEAD gold mining sa CDO ng mayor, governor, congressman, counsellors and barangay captain ano kayo hello!!!  o tapos na natapalan ang mga mata at taenga ng mga ito ng malalaking ..papel na may halaga kaya hindi napansin … kahit may namatay na 2000 plus people during FLASH FLOODS balewala lang sa kanila” LOVE of Money is the root of all Evil”
    Wake up mamamayan ng CDO.. tapusin nyo na mga corrupt practices na ito ng inihalal ninyo…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leobilito-Obsioma/788048966 Leobilito Obsioma

      You are CORRECT Ramon S!!!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KKPJS5QBJRPRHIMAJIQOJE3WNM noli a

    Ano na ba ang nangyayari sa ating bayan, isipin nyo nahuli ang mga Chinese na illegal na nagmimina at wala silang mga working permit sa ating bansa para magtrabaho tapos sasabihin ng City Prosecutor ng CDO na dismiss ang kaso para sa kanila dahil DENR ay walang karapatan o di sila ang dapat kumaso sa mga  Intsik na ito. Kahit na sinong Pilipino ay may karapatan kumaso sa mga taong ito dahil bayan natin ang inaabuso nila. Tapos pinalaya lang ngprosecutor na ito. Walang pagmamahal sa bayan talaga ang mga ibang abugado natin na nsa Gobyerno. Sana pinalaya pero dapat pina deport nyo Mr. Prosecutor na duwag. Dito sa ibang bansa gumawa ka lang ng kahit maliit na bagay na laban sa kanilang Gobyerno o bansa deport ka kaagad. Pero sa atin kahit na nag cause ng pagkamatay ng more than 2000 na buhay, ang katapat lang pera para pakawalan. Its more fun in the Philippines……..

    • lapasan

      I appreciate your observation. Maybe, this prosecutor is connected to someone powerful so that he could not make decision for the benefit of the people of the city. Or maybe this there are $$$$$$ answers for the question.

  • Marcos5

    They take  Our Territories and Steal our Resources : Gold, copper -Marine resources fish and corals.  Time to Wake Up and Boot out this thieves ! 

    They Already Dumped Tons of Cancer causing Mercury in Cagayan River.  Next generation of Filipinos will be diagnosed with Cancer.    Are you Next ?  Wake Up ! Bayan Muna !

  • joboni96

    ok yan
    pero mas paigtingan pa


    tumulong na rin ang
    npa milf mnlf hmb abu sayyaf atb
    kontra dayuhan intsik switik

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


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