OFFICIALS of the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) arrested five persons at San Simon village, Cagayan de Oro, on Tuesday, January 24, for alleged illegal mining.

Clenro officer-in-charge Edwin Dael did not name the five but said their team discovered that the Cagayan river was clear in upland villages but looked turbid downtown.

"Natingala mi nganong medyo sa bukid clear, pero sa ubos medyo hanap, so nag-operate mi gabii and true enough, naa gyud diay nag-operate sa San Simon ug amo silang nadakop (We wondered why, on the upland area the water is clear but on the downtown it looked turbid. So we made an operation and true enough there is an operation in San Simon and we arrested them)," he said.

Dael said two hydraulic pumps with accessories, margaha, and a carpet, tools which are used to filter gold, were seized from the miners who are now detained at the Maharlika police headquarters detention cell.

"They were thinking all the while that we cannot operate during night time but sorry sa ila kay wala mi panahon gipili (we chose anytime). Salamat sa Task Force Kinaiyahan who crossed rivers. It was difficult to walk without flashlights because we were careful to not get noticed. A member was even injured last night kay nabulasot sa bangag (because he accidentally fell into a hole)," he said.

Dael earlier said they have learned that around 10 to 15 percent of mining operations have resumed, again endangering the health of the Iponan and Cagayan rivers.

Illegal mining is one of the major factors that cause grave damage to the environment which in turn triggers flashfloods in this city.