Mining protest turns violent; 6 hurt

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A GROUP of residents blocks the path of a bulldozer to stop a clearing operation by a mining firm in Nueva Vizcaya. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—Six people suffered injuries when villagers clashed with work crews and policemen as they tried to block a clearing operation to make way for a mining project in upland Runruno village in Quezon town.

Witnesses told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Saturday that the scuffles ensued on December 12 when bulldozers broke a human barricade composed of about 70 villagers. The crewmen were brought in to develop the site for a gold-molybdenum project of FCF Minerals Inc., an Australian firm.

FCF has not issued a statement about the incident despite requests made by the Inquirer. The firm’s country manager, Craig Watkins, did not respond to telephone calls and text messages.

“Those injured were shoved during the melee. Others were hit by police truncheons,” said a witness, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal from the authorities.

The villagers tried to prevent FCF’s entry into a 6,839-square meter property owned by Dolphy and Teresa Tindaan, who filed a lawsuit last year to stop the operation. The couple feared that their property would be affected by the operation.

On December 10, Judge Fernando Flor of the regional trial court here ordered the opening of a 20-meter access road that would allow FCF to start its clearing activities. The judge’s order was intended as an interim measure while the hearing of the Tindaans’ complaint continued.

“Some of those who were injured were treated for minor cuts, while others were brought to the hospital. A medical team from the police was said to be around but they did not trust the police because they were (supporting the) mining company,” said Jonathan Humiwat, president of the Bit-ang Runruno Residents Association, a people’s organization.

A number of villagers blocking the clearing operations found themselves half buried in loose soil, Humiwat said.

In his report, Senior Superintendent Valfrie Tabian, provincial police director, described the clearing operation as “generally peaceful and orderly” and “with successful results.”

When asked, Tabian said the police did not take sides and were at the clearing site to maintain order. Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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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.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Eto ang sinasabi ko na nagagamit ang kapulisan at kasundaluhan sa pagyurak ng kalikasan ng bansa!

    • beerhunters

      ban all mining and boycott construction of concrete buildings, the use of computers, machines, roads& bridges, electricity, automobiles&trucks, airplanes, sea vessels! let us just plant camote and sing the song”Bahay Kubo”!

      • ARIKUTIK

        Lahat ng sinabi mo ay kaya nating i import Donk. NO to MINNING.

      • kalikasanipagtanggol

         Mas makakabuti siguro dahil nuon uso ang bayanihan ngayon mas dumami ang dorobo na wala ng bahay kubo kundi mansyon!

    • disqus_F7NxgCOapC

       matagal na po yan… lalu na noong panahon ni Marcos…

  • zeroko

    Since our government is dominated by Filipino-Chinese, don’t expect any benevolent term from them. They are here to plunder our country and our treasury. They have converted our military and PNP not to protect the people affected by to obey their Filipino-Chinese masters.

  • ARIKUTIK

    Ipagbawal na ang Police at Sundalo ay maging private army ng miners. The Phil. armed forces are now protectors of foreign invading miners. Kick the Abnoy president, friend of miners.

  • kismaytami

    The prime minister of Australia should be very happy right now that his countrymen’s mining business is hurting people and trespassing on private properties.

    And police should be very happy right now too, as the officer said “with successful results”. Hurting people and trespassing is now the new meaning of success for the inept police force.

  • geminimind

    You can’t just flip a finger to FCF (an Ausrtalian firm),It is clear and visible that the regional trial court ordered an opening road to access a mining project and they have a business permit.The company will soon hire thousands of employees as soon as they started the mining project.If all else failed go to plan B meaning be an OFW to work someplace,somewhere with-in the bounderies of the planet.

  • Luthmar

    Another disaster in the making.  The villagers have all the rights to protest about mining in their
    area.  Everybody knows the consequences of mining; pollution, mudslides, floods.  When will we ever learn.

  • bagombong

    as usual, the judge gives the the signal to operate..iisa lang ang sabihin nyan, bayad na sya..nasaan ulit ang DENR na nag-aalaga ng kalikasan natin…bayad na rin sila?

  • tata_boy

    de Lima, Pnoy: ano na naman ito?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UQS7B3VREY2WSEZEYZT7T6RMVY Jorgegabriel

    Notice the denuded Forest that we have , Mga kalbong kagubatan na kagagawan ng mga kalbo ring officials, Mga Kalbong Judges mga paikot ikot na Batas, 
    Today these mining companies intentions may be suppress but  their Dollar power will prevail and the poor protesters  shall yield  , In time they will sell their rights to the invaders clothes with an authority from the demi-gods, Hukayin at Payagan nating Patagin ng mga dayuhan at mga imbing kababayan and mga Bundok dahil ubos na ang Kakahuyan, ,The likeness of the Moon and Mars is not far behind, 
    And what is the use? Nobody Listen.

  • Marcos5

    95 percent for the foreign owned mines and 5 percent only for the People of the Philip of Pines.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3RMNEZCQQHXWOQRXJROQ2CORFU Homer Guo

    hindi na tayo nadala…. di pa nga nakakaraos mga biktima ng pablo, eto na naman.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5TENDBNOVQRJEKFPV76D2N4XUM Socorro

    So there is no human right violations here? Is it because these mining firms are blessed by the administration? Where are the so – called partylist protecting the rights of these poor Filipinos?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000025853621 Joe Leynes

    This is one major reason why we Filipinos are not respected.  Take for example the black sand mining in Pangasinan and unabated mining in Zambales that ruin the environment. Why our leaders allow foreigners to do this in our own country is appalling.  Who else will look up to us?  Kawawang Pilipino.

  • simonibarra27

    RP for sale! Free Filipinos to be burried alive for fun! CHR do something.CBCP as ussual do nothing!

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