From Under This Hat: Closing people’s mines

By KATHLEEN T. OKUBO
www.nordis.net

One great river used to run down near the area where a community of Ibaloy people identified in the genealogy line of my grandmother Biskey used to fallow. It is round about the area above the Kennon Road police check point, and goes down to the Camp 4 mining areas that news releases reported that the “dog holes” of the Ibaloy’s small scales mines were blown up (I prayed no one was inside the tunnels) by DENR personel and military raiders for reasons of implementing the goverment’s program to close illegal mines on allegations that these illegal mines were paying taxes to the New People’s Army.

The action was uncalled for and the justifications for their actions were smudged all over as actions of a bully, blatant disrespect for indigenous peoples’ rights, violation of the Constitutional rights of simple Filipino citizens to the security of their home, livelihood, and private property. It was also pure discrimination against a disadvantaged group of Igorots (national minorities). The raiding party were former members and members of the different government military groups accompanied by some DENR personel.

In coverage reports the small scale mine sites were raided earlier and one site so far has been reported to have been blown up on February 14 (some valentines day gift). Among the destroyed or cleaned out private property were: conveyor belts, 600 sacks of raw ore, quite a number of mining tools, and 18 tunnels blasted, all in one site. There were four other sites raided.

In mind only, how many people are now deprived and made much poorer? The perpetrators said these were surprise raids. How much property has been destroyed…?

In by-standers comments, “the raiders can now put up their own mining sites and ball mills” (umanayen nga pangpatakder da ti sarilida nga minas/usok ken gilingan). “The people will again go hungry.” (Mabisinan manen ti tao). These comments on the side might as well be the sentiment of the affected people.

These raiding actions do not seem to have been made with the knowledge of legit community leaders and their Local goverment units. This can be considered a disaster for certain commuities fully dependent on this source of livelihood. I hope somebody could put up some community help units and para legal assistance for the wronged and deprived communities.

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Blaring music is noise.

For the barangays in or around the central business who have been suffering increased stress for the incessant and daily crashing sounds of panagbenga practicing bands should file their complaints for prolonged noise pollution. On the other hand, The City and the Panagbenga foundation should consider compensation for the victims of this daily dose of noise (no longer music) morning and afternoon. For all we know there has been an increase of victims of high blood pressure, or heart attacks and stress because of these already very noisy performances. “There ought to be a law”!

On this week end expect super traffic jams, and unpleasant crowding simply because we and the city officials seem to have forgotten that it is a no no to put crowd increasing entertainment activities all at the same time or period. One or the other event has to give in or everybody will complain all at the same time. This Week is the PMA Alumni homecoming, Chinese New Year, Ibaloy Day, Panagbenga parade, the university student walk out among others, Oh my… Anyway, Kung Hei Fa Choi to every one. # nordis.net

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