5,000 to attend mining summit-A A +A
Thursday, October 4, 2012
AT LEAST 5,000 people are expected to join the first Mindanao People’s Mining Summit on October 6 in Cagayan de Oro.
A march is set to be held at the start of the summit on Saturday at Capitol University (CU).
The summit, organized and initiated by Sulog, a group advocating against illegal mining and logging in the city, aims to raise awareness to the people and to send a strong message to the government about the unabated illegal mining activities along the Iponan river and other hinterland villages of the city.
Orlando Ravanera, regional director of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Northern Mindanao and president of Sulog, said the strong force of cooperatives in the city together with the different civic society groups, including the youth, academe, women, the Indigenous People and different religious sectors, already signified their intention to join in the march.
“The people have awakened. This is a very historical event, a local people power in the making,” Ravanera said.
He said today, the amalgamation of all these groups has given way to the formation of the collective spirit of the people -- a strong current to advance ecological integrity and a countervailing force to stop “our accelerating drive towards ecological disasters.”
The summit also aims to bring the issue to Congress.
“We cannot be on the sidelines. We want to assert our role and responsibility to immediately stop the bleeding of the environment. We need pressure and collective concern to be part of the solution,” added Dr. Bob Ocio, a member of Sulog.
At least six mining barges were still spotted in the upland barangays in the city in September.
Three barges, a mini-loader and a backhoe, were seen operating along Barangay Tuburan and Iponan River.
Earlier, Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma appealed to the local government to check and act on the state of the silted river in Iponan after the devastation of Tropical Storm Sendong in December last year.
However, the local government pushed their arguments that there has been no evidence that mining contributed to the destruction of communities living along Cagayan de Oro river during the December 16 flashfloods.
“What more proofs do they need? Aerial photos and video footages taken on the illegal mining activities along Iponan River are enough to show the destruction caused by hydraulic mining,” Ledesma said.
“It is unconscionable for the government to say there is no damage from mining activities,” he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 04, 2012.