RESIDENTS OPPOSE MINING IN ANTIQUE (Firm owned by Passi City mayor)
The Daily Guardian
October 23, 2011
By: Francis Allan L. Angelo
CONCERNED residents of Libertad, Antique are up in arms against iron ore mining in their community undertaken by a firm believed to be owned by a mayor from Iloilo province.
The people of Brgys. San Roque and Patria, Libertad fear that the operations of Archlegan Mining Corp. will destroy their village’s ecology.
Archlegan, which is registered under the name of Mayor Jesry Palmares of Passi City, Iloilo, wants to extract metallic iron ore from a 199,996-square meter area in Antique.
Information from Antique said Archlegan partnered with a national steel manufacturer in the mining operations.
According to trading website www.alibaba.com, Archlegan’s office address is at 56 Gen Luna Street, Iloilo City. The firm also trades fighting cock breeds raised by Palmares’ cock farm.
In their Facebook page “No to Mining in San Roque Libertad Antique”, the residents said the mining operation could affect the Northwest Panay Peninsula National Protected Area which covers the municipalities of Nabas, Malay and Buruanga in Aklan and the municipalities of Libertad and Pandan.
Aside from the possible destruction of the protected area, which was created though a presidential decree, the residents also fear for their lives and property in case landslides occur.
Mining in San Roque started early this month with the carving of access roads to the mining site.
The concerned residents also slammed Libertad Mayor Norberto Raymundo for pushing the mining operations despite opposition from the residents.
Raymundo said in a radio interview that the mining operations will cover only a small portion of their town, not the entire protected area.
Raymundo said the firm assured that the environment will be preserved as stipulated in the permits issued by government agencies.
Meanwhile, Mayor Jonathan Tan of Pandan, Antique has clarified that there is no mining operation in his town.
Tan said he is ready to resign if there is mining in their town.
Tan was dragged in the issue for reportedly facilitating the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Archlegan and Raymundo at his home two months ago.
Archlegan figured in the issue after buying the mining rights of Tudor Mining Corp. which mined marble in the area. It was later found out that large deposits are present in San Roque aside from marble.
Category: For Local News