CORDON, Isabela—Dr. Jose Jocson, a top mining executive of original concession holders here, has asked what steps has the government taken to foster best industry practices.
“We are wondering if indeed there is a genuine order to stop mining operations in Isabela,” he said in a statement Sunday.
“We have been communicating with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of Region 2 Tugegarao City and central office in Quezon City.”
Jocson was referring to the complaint of environment advocates against Golden Summit Mining Corp. (GSMC) defying the government’s order to stop mining at the Roque Estate in Sitio San Luiz, Caquilingan village.
Ben Cardenas, president of DAGAMI-Cordon Chapter, an affiliate of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, said GSMC heavy equipment including five dump trucks with markings of OceanaGold based in Didipio Village, Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya were seen hauling minerals.
Jocson, chairman and president, said it was the first time the media had come out with a report about the questionable activity.
“We are the original mining holders in the Cordon area under our mining operations Marian Mineral Exploration Co. Inc. and Olympus Mineral Exploration Co. Inc.,” he said. “Our operator is Vulcan and Industrial Mining Corporation.”
He said Vice President Belen B. Jocson had a conference with the Cordon Sanguniang Panlunsod last year.
She asked Vice Mayor Charita Mariano about taxes paid by Golden Summit but replied in the negative because the firm allegedly had no business permit.
Cardenas said MGB’s 2014 directive directing Golden Summit to stop activities was being ignored.
“The illegal mining activity continues despite cease and desist order against GSMC from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in October last year,” he said.
Cardenas said GSMC has been spotted hauling minerals from Anonang village which are allegedly transported to Barangay Barlo, Mabini in Pangasinan.
“Barely two months after receiving the MGB cease and desist order and without permit to do so, GSMC resumed its mining activities in December last year.” he said.
Last week, residents and farmers were alarmed over the “open pit mining” prompting the Municipal Council to summon Barangay Chairman Edgar Bayo of Caquilingan, who denied any knowledge of what was happening inside a private property.
But MGB Region 2 Director Mario Ancheta said no permit was issued to GSMC even as Sangguniang Bayan Member Jane Ngipol likewise denied the board was formally informed of the firm’s activities.