The local government unit of Mati City revealed that it has already corrected the report of a certain national independent and digital news outlet, which claimed that around 300 miners were “trapped” in the mining area on Thursday morning, January 18, 2024, due to heavy flash floods caused by the shear line surge in Davao Oriental.
However, despite being rightfully informed about the situation the news outlet remained firm and insisted that the miners were indeed “trapped”.
“Pero iya gyud gina-insist na na-trap daw lagi. Gi-explain namo na ang trap is naa man gud sulod sa tunnel kung miners ang hisgutan. Ingon namo na stranded lang sila sa ilang kampo kay dili sila kalahos kay tungod sa baha,” (But [he] insisted that they were trapped. We have already explained that [when we say] trap [it] is actually inside the tunnel if we talk about the miners. We said they are just stranded in their camp because of the flood),” Jude Corpuz, Mati City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MCDDRMO) staff tasked with receiving calls from their emergency hotline numbers said on Saturday, January 20.
The MCDDRMO said the report published on January 19 was misleading as miners working for Hallmark Mining in Barangay Macambol were just stranded in their camp site.
The official also advised the reporter that he was using the hotline emergency number which is important to humanitarian aid operation but he stayed on call for more than eight minutes.
The information was also debunked by the Office of the Civil Defense-Davao Region (OCD-Davao).
“Dili po tinuod na na-trap ang mga miners, na-isolate lang to sila sa mining area kay naay landslides sa mga kalsada (It’s not true that the miners were trapped, they were isolated from the mining area due to the landslides affecting the roads),” OCD-Davao Operations Officer Franz Irag said in a message on Saturday afternoon.
On the other hand, MCDDRMO head Charlemagne Bagasol said that their agency received a call from a relative of one of the miners on the same day informing them about the situation.
She added that they have immediately collaborated with the personnel and officials of Barangay Macambol for the rescue operation.
“Sabi ng kapitan dun na pinabalik ng kompanya yung mga minero sa kanilang kampo para mas safe sila mula sa baha. Then the barangay official suggested na sea rescue na lang and upon assessment we told them na delikado kasi malakas ang agos at malaki ang alon (The [barangay] captain said that the company sent the miners back to their camp to keep them safe from the flood. Then the barangay official suggested a sea rescue and upon assessment we told them that it is dangerous because the current was strong and the waves are big)” Bagasol said.
To rescue the miners, the MCDRRMO worked with the 66th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, which confirmed that it arrived at the miners' location on January 19.
In an updated assessment conducted by the Mati City LGU released on Saturday, all miners were reportedly arrived safely in their respective homes.
As of press time, Hallmark Mining has donated food provisions to 236 families in Macambol and 102 affected families in Cabuaya. DEF