Malacañang sends team to check landslide-hit area in Davao Oriental-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
THE Office of the Executive Secretary in Malacañang has sent a team to check the reported landslide in a gold rush site in Tarragona town in Davao Oriental.
Unconfirmed reports from officials of the nearby Don Salvador Lopez village in Mati City said eight bodies were retrieved from the landslide area in Sitio Bangol, Barangay Tubaon in Tarragona with more still feared buried.
But Tarragona Mayor Samuel Uy and the Philippine Army denied that there were fatalities. The mine site in Tarragona can only be accessed through Don Salvador Lopez.
Assistant Secretary Gerry Cabrera of the Anti-Terrorism and Special Concerns under the Office of the Executive Secretary inspected the landslide area on Sunday.
After the aerial inspection, Cabrera went back to Davao City, but it wasn’t clear if he met with Mayor Uy. Inquiries sent to the mayor's mobile number remained unanswered as of this posting Sunday.
Don Salvador Lopez village chief Baudillo Miones earlier said that as of Friday eight bodies were recovered from the landslide area.
Miones said all miners going in and out of Sitio Bangol pass in their barangay and it is keeping a logbook of all the miners who used to pay P70 each for using the barangay road.
The Provincial Government earlier ordered a halt on the village’s toll fee collection after the enforcement of the cease and desist order issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Davao Region.
Mayor Uy and the military said only one was injured from the landslide.
Despite denial by authorities, rumors abound that the fatalities were transported at night time and were allegedly made to sit down on the motorcycles like live passengers so as not to catch attention.
Herminia Miones, Mandaya tribal chieftain, said more than a month ago, a tunnel cave in also killed four miners in Sitio Bangol.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 03, 2012.