Bayan Muna urges in-depth investigation of Diwalwal tragedy

The Bayan Muna (People First) party-list chapter in Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) urged authorities Nov. 12 to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation regarding allegations that the Sunshine tunnel explosion that killed 32 miners was not a mere accident. The group said the fire that gutted houses in Barangay Ngan a week before the explosion could be a related incident.

Bayan Muna-SMR Spokesperson Jeppie Ramada urged law enforcers to look into the possible involvement of groups with vested interests in Sunshine tunnel. Ramada said that they have received reports linking the fire and the explosion to an attempt to hasten the take-over of the tunnel by a large company.

Ramada also said that the fire and the explosion are “intended to weaken small-scale mining operations in Diwalwal to pave the way for the entry of large-scale mining.” He said that “the noxious incidents in Diwalwal are implications of Arroyo’s revitalization of the mining industry at the expense of the people and national patrimony.”

Bayan Muna noted that government studies cite millions of metric tons of gold, limestone, carbon and copper in the Agtunganon Range where Diwalwal nestles, which makes the area highly viable for large-scale mining investments. (

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