By Froilan Gallardo
February 29, 2012
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/28 February) — The crackdown against illegal mining in Iponan has started.
Authorities made no arrests but there was no resistance either from the illegal miners who watched helplessly as the soldiers and police dismantled their hydraulic pumps and loaded them into a waiting six-by-six truck.
Misamis Oriental Vice Governor Norris Babiera said the raid was only the start of the crackdown on illegal hydraulic mining operations along Iponan River, the natural boundary between this city and Opol town.
But the raiders did not include the mining operators who were issued “special operating permits” by Mayor Vicente Emano and the Cagayan de Oro City Council.
Danny Belderol, chief of the DENR mines division said their regional office issued instructions not to include in the operations the mining sites that were given “special permits” by city officials.
“We are still studying legal implications of the special permits issued by Mayor Emano,” Belderol told reporters.
The city government earlier said there are only two mining firms operating in Iponan but an opposition councilor disclosed that City Hall approved the mining licenses of nine firms using “special permits.”
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