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Cimatu suspends all small-scale mining operations in Cordillera

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 12:55 PM September 17, 2018

Miners dig through dirt and rocks searching for victims believed to have been buried by a landslide after Typhoon Mangkhut barreled across Itogon, Benguet province, northern Philippines on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said that at the height of the typhoon’s onslaught Saturday afternoon, dozens of people, mostly miners and their families, rushed into a three-story building in the village of Ucab. The building, a former mining bunkhouse that had been transformed into a chapel, was obliterated when part of a mountain slope collapsed. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Updated 4 p.m.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Monday ordered the suspension of small-scale mining activities in the Cordillera following a landslide in the region that killed dozens of people.

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“In view of this current situation in the Cordilleras, to prevent further danger to the lives of our small-scale miners, I officially order cease and desist of all illegal small-scale mining operations in the whole of Cordillera Administrative Region,” Cimatu said in a televised press briefing in Benguet.

“In the whole of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), suspended ang [mining] operations,” he added.

In a text message to reporters, Cimatu said that “the order of revocation is to small-scale miners in CAR only.”

“It does not cover big scale mining. We might be filing charges against them if they don’t yet stop despite the cease and desist order,” he said.

“They could be charged with mining without permit or theft of minerals,” he added.

The environment chief also ordered the revocation of 10 small mining associations that were issued temporary permits.

“I’m revoking those permits effective today (Monday),” Cimatu said.

 The former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief said he would send the military and the police to implement his order.

“The DENR will be sending men from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to effect the stoppage of all mining activities, especially here in Itogon,” he said.

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At least 34 people were dead and dozens more were missing after a deadly landslide that hit the miners’ bunkhouses in Itogon town on Saturday. /cbb/ac

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TAGS: Cordillera, DENR, Landslide, Mining, news, Roy Cimatu
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