Region’s cops told to intensify operations vs illegal mining
The Police Regional Office-Cordillera reminds the police force to strictly intensify operations against illegal small-scale mining activities in the region as the stoppage order issued by Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu last year remains in force.
PRO-Cor Director B/Gen. Ephraim Israel Dickson said the Cordillera police force, in coordination with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau should strengthen their campaign and operations against all illegal small-scale mining operations, which are still being done covertly.
The Philippine Military Academy Headquarters Support Group recently apprehended and brought to the Tuba Municipal Police Station at least four individuals for small-scale mining at Basa, Camp 6 and Camp 4 in Tuba, Benguet while patrolling along the area. At least 30 sacks of gold including mining equipment were also confiscated from them.
The Itogon Municipal Police Station also earlier arrested four individuals caught in the act of illegally processing gold at Goldfield, Poblacion, Itogon.
During the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee meeting, MGB-CAR Mine Management Division Chief Engineer Alfredo Genetiano reported that technically there is only one legal small-scale mine in the Cordillera but which is not yet in operation.
The Benguet Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board issued a minahang bayan permit to the Loacan Itogon Pocket Miners Association in Loacan, Itogon, however, the group cannot operate yet since they are still applying for an environmental compliance certificate.
MGB Legal Officer Francisco Bilog said police do not need to be deputized in conducting operations and arresting those involved in small-scale mining operations since the activities are illegal. – Redjie Cawis