Chinese, 2 Pinoys face illegal mine raps



RESIDENTS scramble to strip a barge used for mining gold on Iponan River, which got stuck underneath the Bulao Bridge in Sitio Bulau, Barangay Iponan, Cagayan de Oro City, due to a flood in 2012. JB R. DEVEZA, Inquirer Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY —The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Northern Mindanao filed on Friday illegal mining charges, mineral theft and use of banned items, such as mercury, against a Chinese national and two Filipinos in the city prosecutor’s office here.

The three men, Cheng You of Fujian, China, Antonio Escudero of Maramag, Bukidnon, and Jesser Baguio of Barangay (village) Tuburan, Cagayan de Oro City, were arrested on the same day.

Rex Monsanto, MGB regional director, said the three worked together and even operated a barge on the river, where they sift sand for gold.

Aside from the charges in connection with violation of the Mining Act of 1995, Cheng should also be investigated for being an undocumented alien by the Bureau of Immigration, Monsanto said.

He said the MGB believed that Cheng was among dozens of Chinese nationals employed by the Chinese-led KF Net Corp., one of the four companies that the agency had earlier sued for illegal mining, mineral theft and illegal exploration.

The other Chinese-operated companies were Philippine Long Sangda Mining Corp., South Ocean Mining Corp. and Yellow Stone Minerals and Development Corp.

The MGB had also filed separate charges against 15 people when it sued the four companies, including at least four Chinese nationals and two Koreans.

Sulog, a civil society organization here, lamented that illegal miners had persisted on Iponan River, and authorities were helpless against or have abetted them.

Celestino Ocio, secretary general of Sulog, said because of this, they wanted Environmental Management Bureau regional chief Abadullah Abubakar replaced for allegedly condoning illegal mining operations on the river by issuing quarry permits, which miners use for extracting gold.

The illegal mining activities on Iponan River were among the factors blamed for the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm “Sendong” here in 2011.

Councilor President Elipe, chair of the city council’s environment committee, admitted that the city government issued quarry permits to some companies, which, in turn, used them to mine gold.

A city official, who did not want to be identified for lack of authority to speak on the matter, also said the illegal mining activities on Iponan River had persisted because of protection from some village officials.

A television staff here backed the official’s claim by citing their February 2012 experience while filming a documentary on illegal mining activities on  Iponan River.

The TV reporter said a village councilor of Tuburan had threatened to harm them unless they stopped filming and leave. Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

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

  • Charles Lynel F. Joven

    hey i think there are hundreds more Chinese operating illegal mining sorties here in our country…wake up you guys at the MGB and DENR…!!!!!

  • eltee2012

    >>>this chinese illegal miners and any chinese that are arrested and working with a chinese company in the philippines must be double check their actual and real identity.

    >>>who knows these people are belong to mainland china and working with their govt maritime surveillance and their company here in Philiipines are just a front and camouflage only.

  • Loggnat

    If the national or provincial government fails to penalized these government officials who are incompetent, who condoned or even are in cahoot with these illegal miners, this problem will never be stopped or at least minimized. I can imagine it that these local, provincial and other government officials are claiming that its not their job to apprehend those criminals and pointing fingers at each other. It’ more fun in da’ Philippines… for the illegal alien criminals who will probably bribe their way out of prison and sneak out of the country by the Philippine Immigration. :)))

  • 19arafol25

    MGB puntahan nyo Pantukan ,Copostela valley, kung talagang matapang kayo.

  • divictes

    Silent invasion … and not without help from the traitors in our midst.

    • go88

      well if you vote for chinese that’s what you get

  • WeAry_Bat

    This is just part of what I said about Chinese mine operators in the country.

    They all should be kicked out. You can guess the many thieving and destructive reasons why.

  • BIGButo

    Senator Loren Legarda how much should we make these Chinese and the local Filipino pay for there fine. I think 1.5 million dollars would be good. You are expert please let us know.

  • punto_lang

    dapat hulihin lahat mga illegal na dayuhan sa atin sila din gumagawa ng mga illegal na bagay.

  • Yxon

    our environmental laws and its implementation is the weakest in the region

  • Loggnat

    If that dredge in the picture is the one owned by the illegal miners arrested, those people are destroying the evidence. :)))

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos