Rallies against and for mining held in Surigao
by Erwin Mascarinas, InterAksyon.com
April 29, 2012
CANTILAN, Surigao del Sur – More than 5,000 people from all over Surigao del Sur converged in Madrid town Saturday, heeding a bishop’s call for a protest against mining, while simultaneous pro-mining rallies were held 8 kilometers away in Carrascal town.
Tandag Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar, backed by environmental and civic organizations in the Caraga region, had sent a letter a week earlier to all Surigao del Sur priests. In it he said the sin against nature and the environment is something that will affect people forever. After the ecology is destroyed, it is very hard to restore it to its original state and beauty, he explained.
Saturday’s anti-mining protest opened with a human chain by the townsfolk of Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza (CarCanMadCarLan), but they failed to connect the towns due to the vast agricultural area that separates the municipalities.
An hour later vehicles from other parts of Surigao del Sur as far as Bislig City started to arrive at the Carac-an Bridge to participate in the concelebrated mass by all parish priests in all the 18 towns of Surigao del Sur.
Cantilan Bank executive vice-president and retired B/Gen. Charles Y. Hotchkiss, one of those who supported the protests, was pleased that many people joined them.
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