While our eyes are glued on the West Philippine Sea and we rage at alleged incursions and bullying by China, the latter in fact is steadily expanding its reach inland, thanks to the government that profligately grants it unlimited access to the Philippines’ mineral resources.
Now that the cat is out of the bag officials of a southern Iloilo town are rattled after a broadcast station exposed that they allowed a Chinese mining firm to start exploration sans public consultation.
And they further owe the people of Igbaras town, 40 kilometers from Iloilo City, an explanation why they surreptiously let Century Peak come in hiding behind the legal veneer of constructing two dams for irrigation and electricity.
Bombo Radyo broke the news evening of June 3.
A mining license is supposed to undergo requisites of public consultations but in this case, it sailed on smoothly in cahoots with local officials in pulling the wool down the eyes of their constituents.
This writer earlier raised an alarm that the real purpose for the purpose of the entry of the Chinese firm is not to construct the dam. Century Peak is notorious for destroying the ecology and in using force to intimidate lumads and farmers in Mindanao. Its armed support consists of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on top of its array of private security armed with assault rifles and machine guns.
In fact, the rebel New People’s Army (NPA) considers Century Peak a “legitimate target” of its armed attacks that it in fact carried out in several places in Mindanao.
“Watch out,” warned Edmund Esporas, former vice mayor of Igbaras. “During our term, we only enacted a resolution of non-opposition to the proposed hydro project.”
Added Esporas: “We have insiders telling us that Juvic and his cabal have surreptitiously modified our resolution.
Juvic is Vicente Escorpion, Jr., mayor of Igbaras.
Asked by Bombo Radyo why he allowed Century Peak to divert from its contract of building the dams, Escorpion answered: “That’s not a problem after all, it’s only an exploration.”
Jaime Esmeralda, MD, former mayor of the mountain town, confirmed Esporas’ statement. “We issued only a resolution favoring the hydro project but not for mining and not for any specific company like Century Peak,” he said.
Exploration is the process of finding ores for mining. The mountains of Igbaras are rich in bauxite, copper and gold.
It’s almost like mining where commercial extraction is allowed as shown in this webpage:
http://mcpharinternational.com/services/mining-exploration orhttps://www.google.com.ph/search?q=mining+exploration&newwindow=1&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&imgil=cVcmOvywp_ANLM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcTaBSvGj2hNBnfOcZXfrJ7zTG370YVILrdBVZ2B7KyiyEXczvivbg%253B644%253B344%253BFHa5dqe-cAp7tM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fmcpharinternational.com%25252Fservices%25252Fmining-exploration&source=iu&usg=__uBpKcaRHgVLBBVtIEXyBYKISJ5I%3D&sa=X&ei=qcqPU6WuKsXk8AWxqoGgAw&ved=0CEsQ9QEwAw&biw=1024&bih=475#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=cVcmOvywp_ANLM%253A%3BFHa5dqe-cAp7tM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fmcpharinternational.com%252Fuploads%252Fcategories%252F85e9e8fa739ed81b4ed6162899c8b3c9e0a88804_wide.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fmcpharinternational.com%252Fservices%252Fmining-exploration%3B644%3B344 .
Please click on it to view the despoliation it causes.
Indeed Escorpion and his cabal who won the 2013 elections through the controversial “Hocus PCOS” have a lot of explanation to do.