Environmental group replaces its rep in CMRB

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014


AFTER a dialogue with the members and the officers of the environmental advocate group, Sulog, Ralph Abragan who represents the group in the City Mining Regulatory Board (CMRB) would be replaced by regional Cooperative Development Authority head Orlan Ravanera.

“By discretion of the body, Mr. Ralph Abragan will be replaced by me and I will continue sharing what he has contributed to CMRB,” Sulog chairman Orlando Ravanera said Tuesday.

Ravanera added the issue that involved Abragan should not be treated as a big deal since Sulog itself did not see anything wrong with it.

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“People should dismiss the idea that it is a big deal. It is not. We never treated Abragan’s acts as if they are grave offense. We talked it out, peacefully and he himself even stepped down,” Ravanera said.

Abragan’s issue in the CMRB stemmed from his involvement in mining business that has been labeled “unethical” due to conflict of interest. It escalated when he accused CMRB for having “mafia-like” activities within the board.

Abragan is a member of the CMRB representing Sulog. He is also the chairman of Save CDO Now movement, a member-organization of Sulog.

Mistrusted Sulog

In a previous article, Ravenera was worried that Sulog might be mistrusted by the public in representing the voice of the people in the CMRB.

With Abragan’s announcement of his position, Ravanera said that it might be a step in convincing people’s trust once again.

“I am not saying that Abragan is the culprit here. But because he was misunderstood, Sulog might lose its credibility being the environment advocate group. That is why we are trying to bring back the public’s trust because after all, that is what Sulog is about,” he said.

CMRB, by structure, is composed of representatives from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Committee on Environment from the City Council, the small-scale mining group, City Local Environment and Resources Office and Sulog.

Abragan told this paper that there were just a few misunderstanding that got ballooned by the media.

“It is unfair to me because the “conflict of interest” was not clear at all. My properties have been used privately and there is nothing wrong with that. My activities are legitimate but I am still judged by the public through the media and on Facebook,” he said.

He said such judgment stained his reputation.

“I stepped down and there’s no issue on that. But the real issue here was covered already,” he said.

Ravanera added that with Abragan’s replacement, Sulog will no longer dwell on petty things.

“What binds us (Sulog) together does not tear us apart. We continue our work for the people. Some people who have hated us might think that we are tearing apart. We are not,” Ravanera said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 13, 2014.

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