A planned municipality-wide forum on mining scheduled on March 15 in Abra town was denied permission by barangay (village) officials.
BY ALDWIN QUITASOL
Posted by Bulatlat
BANGUED, Abra (400 kms north of Manila) – The Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin ti daga a Nagtaudan (KASTAN) criticized barangay (village) officials for denying them permission to hold a municipality-wide forum on mining scheduled on March 15 at Brgy. Tiempo, Abra.
KASTAN spokesperson Irene Timbreza questioned the said denial and found it suspicious because the barangay officials set a meeting with representatives of the Philippine Metal Corporation (PMC). The PMC conducted mining exploration tests in barangays Dilong and Tubtuba.
Timbreza said they have a feeling that the PMC was prioritized over the forum.
At the PMC’s website, an extensive historical database from the previous drilling and other exploration works by various mining companies can be read. The company announced that once the exploration is completed, it will seek partnership with other mining developers and off-take arrangements with Asian mining companies.
Timbreza related that Tiempo Barangay Captain Jose Guillermo called and told her that the forum is not necessary because the barangay has an anti-mining stance anyway. “Ngem apay nga ibaga na pay lang a makakannigid kano ti organisasyon mi isu nga saan a mapalubosan nga agforum?” (But why did he tell me that our forum will not be allowed because our organization is leftist?) Timbreza added.
Timbreza said the forum was supposed to be attended by community residents from all the barangays of Tubo. She said that it will help the Tubo people a lot in dealing with mining companies that plan to conduct exploration activities in their territories.
Timbreza said that they talked with the local government and people of Luba also in Abra regarding the holding a mining forum. She said they got a positive response from the said barangay. She said that the Abra River is affected because of the reported mining wastes of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company. (Northern Dispatch / Posted by Bulatlat)