BAYUGAN CITY, Philippines – At least nine illegal aliens, mostly Chinese, have allegedly been engaging in illegal mining in Wawa River in Barangay Cubo in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur since September.
Barangay councilman Alberto Maisog said residents living near the river have been complaining that they could not sleep at night because of the noise created by two dredging barges being used by the group.
“When we confronted them, they could not show us permits from the proper government agencies,” Maisog told The STAR last Thursday.
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He said one of the interpreters of the foreigners told them that Magaurom Mining Co. is constructing a mineral ore processing plant in the village.
“Not only that they do not have a permit to mine, dredge or whatever, they just arrived here, installed their huge machineries and dredged (the river),” said Fr. Marcelo Pundok, parish priest of Our Lady of Charity in Barangay Mabuhay.
Pundok said it was impossible for the group to conduct mining activities without the knowledge and consent of higher officials. He expressed suspicion that influential politicians could have helped the group.
Purok 3 chairperson Catalina Hayagan said no concerned government agency, including the Bureau of Immigration, Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the provincial environment office, has come to check the group’s operation even though they have reported it to the provincial and city governments. - By Ben Serrano (