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HomeFront PageBreaking News‘Illegal miners’ strike again in Agusan Sur in the year of Rabbit

‘Illegal miners’ strike again in Agusan Sur in the year of Rabbit

BUTUAN CITY– An environmentalist group in Caraga has expressed deep concern about the proliferation of what they called “illegal rabbit miners” in the gold rush village in Rosario town in Agusan del Sur extracting the precious metal without safety and proper procedures and the lack of government permit to operate.

The group fears that the persistent rains since last month may imperil the lives of illegal miners operating in the hazardous tunnels in Purok Banbonon, Sinug-ang, Bayugan 3 in the said town that may cave in at any moment in time.

“Our concerned agencies, particularly the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) must address the problem in Sinug-ang before the catastrophic incident occurs, particularly the lives of people of this wanton destruction of the environment,” said a concerned environmentalist, who requested anonymity.

The environmental group in Caraga noted the alleged “snail-paced action of the DENR, particularly the Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO, CENRO) in the area.

There are also reports that some illegal miners in Sinug-ang area are said to be untouchable as they are allegedly supported by some politicians in the area and politicians from different regions that need urgent attention from the concerned government line agencies.

Leaders and members of tribal communities have voiced out their fear for their lives as the alleged financiers have deployed armed men with the unlicensed firearm to prevent legal intervention.

“Illegal rabbit miners, some of them armed, create their burrows of illegal mining tunnels in the said area, and this must be stopped as early as possible before the catastrophic incident will happen,” said the concerned environmentalist in an interview Wednesday.

The group appealed to DENR Secretary Maria Antonia “Toni” Yulo Loyzaga and Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” C. Abalos, Jr. to respond to their concern about the illegal mining operation in Sinug-ang area before the loss of lives happened.

Meanwhile, DENR 13 Regional Executive Director (RED) Nonito M. Tamayo cannot be reached for comment regarding the worsening situation.

The Caraga environmentalist group also called the attention of the police authorities, mainly Police Regional Office 13 Regional Director Pablo G. Labra III, as some of these so-called “illegal rabbit miners” are armed.

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