Tag Archives: Compostela Valley

[Press Release] COMELEC lauded for speedy Baguio & Comval response, urged to allow “live-streamed manual counting” for “special cases” -SANLAKAS

COMELEC lauded for speedy Baguio & Comval response, urged to allow “live-streamed manual counting” for “special cases”


Multisectoral partylist group Sanlakas lauded the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for a “speedy response” to the ballot switching in Baguio and Compostela Valley and urged the commission to allow for “special cases” of poll failure “live-streamed manual counting” monitored by mainstream media and social networks.

“We know that COMELEC is doing all it can to make every vote count, as fast as it can. Maybe it can do better by conducting tech-assisted manual counting for similar incidences,” Sanlakas Secretary-General Aaron Pedrosa said.

Pedrosa believes that the combined power of mainstream and social media can discourage anomalies in manual counting and canvassing in small cases, and can do away with the need to conduct special elections.

“It might be easier for COMELEC to conduct manual counting in cases similar to Bgy. Lualhati’s involving 638 voters, as long as it is closely monitored by the public,” Pedrosa said.


Pedrosa also said that the people responsible for the “Baguio and ComVal mishap” must be held accountable and be prosecuted.

“Electoral justice necessitates penalties to people responsible. Since we do not know yet whether this is accidental or concious on their part, we need an urgent investigation on the matter,” Pedrosa said.


Contact Person: Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas Secretary-General @ 0932-364-3137
Val De Guzman, Media Liaison @ 0919-965-7509

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[In the news] Negros Occidental governor: P97/day wage hike too much | Sun.Star

Negros Occidental governor: P97/day wage hike too much | Sun.Star.

By Teresa Ellera-Dulla, SunStar.com.ph
January 14, 2012

 NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said the P97-per-day wage increase being asked by the labor sector in Western Visayas is too much.

“That will be hard for the businessmen to cope with. If that would be granted, many businesses may close down,” Marañon said.


“At this time, it is better that we have jobs rather than getting the high pay but many will lose their jobs,” the governor added.

Marañon said the wage increase should be at the level which the business sector can afford and it should not be uniform to all businesses. Giant companies should give bigger increase because they can afford it, he said.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Senate urged to probe financiers of Compostela Valley mines – PhilStar.com

Senate urged to probe financiers of Compostela Valley mines
By Edith Regalado, The Philippine Star
January 13, 2012

 DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Senate has been urged to conduct an investigation on the financiers of small-scale mining operations following the deadly landslide in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.

Compostela Valley Gov. Arthur Uy also ordered the creation of a fact-finding team that would look into the involvement of local officials in the mining activities in Pantukan.

“There were reports that reached my office regarding local officials in Pantukan who themselves own tunnels in the mining site,Uy said.

Uy said the fact-finding team would identify the financiers of the small-scale mining activities in Pantukan.

He said the local government in Pantukan failed to implement a “no-habitation” policy that should have been implemented months before the Jan. 5 landslide occurred.

Sen. Loren Legarda took note of the claims by Uy, who said there is a local ordinance prohibiting dwelling in Barangay Napnapan, particularly in the area where a landslide happened in April 2011.

Uy stressed the local ordinance was already issued before the Jan. 5 landslide even as the Department of the Interior and Local Government ordered a “no-habitation” policy in areas in Pantukan identified as landslide-prone.

Legarda filed Senate Resolution No. 675, stressing specific areas in Pantukan, including Barangay Napnapan where the Jan. 5, 2012 and the April 2011 landslides occurred, have been identified as landslide-prone and the mountain region could collapse from high pressure or big movements, thereby not suitable for habitation and mining activities.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

[In the news] CCTVs installed in gold-rich town in fight vs illegal mining activities – www.mindanews.com

CCTVs installed in gold-rich town in fight vs illegal mining activities
By Bong S. Sarmiento, www.mindanews.com
January 12, 2012
 KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/11 January)—Surveillance cameras have been installed in the gold-rich town of T’boli in South Cotabato in an intensified crackdown against all forms of illegal activities that threaten the environment in the area, an official said on Wednesday.
Siegfred Flaviano, Provincial Environment Management Office chief, said the provincial government is cracking the whip not just on illegal small-scale mining operations but also against illegitimate ball mill processing plants.

“The stoppage order on ball mills operating without permits will be implemented by January 15,” he told MindaNews.

Flaviano said the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at the only road leading outside the gold-rush villages of Kematu and Desawo to monitor vehicles transporting ores towards the ball mills, which are mostly concentrated in the poblacion area.

It was installed on the heels of the recent disaster in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, where a landslide killed 36 people in a small-scale mining site years ago considered a high-risk area by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Two pairs of CCTVs, or four cameras in all that can take wide and close angle shots, were set up, he added.

These will monitor the ores transported out from Kematu and Desawo especially during nighttime, Flaviano said, adding the footages will help them determine if these are legally or illegally sourced.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[In the news] Landslide death toll rises to 36 – SunStar.com.ph

Landslide death toll rises to 36
January 9, 2012

 DAVAO – Rescuers recovered on Monday four more bodies, bringing to 36 the number of people who died after a landslide hit a small-scale mining site in Pantukan, Compostela Valley last week, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

Of the four bodies found, two have been identified as Garnado Ofton and Paquito Piayo. The other two have not been named.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[in the news] It’s more dangerous–not fun–in PH, says anticrime group – INQUIRER.net

It’s more dangerous–not fun–in PH, says anticrime group
By Jerome Aning, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 9, 2012

 The Aquino administration should adopt a stronger peace and order drive this year, especially if it aims to attract more tourists, an anticrime group said Sunday.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), in its yearend report, described the crime situation in 2011 as “disturbing,” saying that media reports the last six months showed that the crime rate had “reached such proportion that crime syndicates were no longer afraid of the laws of the land and had a field day sowing violence.”

“The killings all over the Philippines is a clear indication that the government does not have an effective peace and order agenda. The Department of Tourism’s latest travel slogan ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ should read ‘It’s more dangerous to be in the Philippines,’” said Dante Jimenez, VACC president and founding chairman.

The VACC said that from July to December 2011, more than 1,300 crime incidents were reported—an average of 217 a month or 55 per week.

Among the “alarming developments” identified by the group were the unchecked murders of journalists that earned for the Philippines the dubious tag as one of the world’s most dangerous places for the media; the “unabated” incidents of kidnap-for-ransom targeting even foreign nationals; and the rising number of assassinations by suspected guns-for-hire targeting political figures and other prominent personalities.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[In the news] Probe into Pantukan mayor’s mine ownership pushed – SunStar.com.ph

Probe into Pantukan mayor’s mine ownership pushed
January 9, 2012

 DAVAO – An independent commission will be created to look into the culpability of Pantukan Mayor Celso Sarenas on the latest landslide in his town and to check if he finances a mine tunnel.

The landslide, which tore through a small-scale gold mining site in Sitio Palo Diat, Barangay Napnapan in Pantukan town, Compostela Valley last January 5, killed more than 30 people and left 44 more missing, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) advisory said Sunday.

Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy said the commission will be tentatively composed of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Office of Civil Defense, the chairman of the Committee on Environment of the Provincial Board and a non-government organization.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Pantukan tunnels ordered closed down – RAPPLER

Pantukan tunnels ordered closed down – RAPPLER – Philippine News | Multimedia | Citizen Journalism | Social Media.
January 7, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – All high-risk mining tunnels in Pantukan, Compostela Valley will be closed down within the week, following orders of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and local government units.

This comes on the heels of a landslide Thursday, January 5, in Sitios Diat Uno and Dos in Barangay Napnapan that left at least 30 dead. According to a report from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, as of 4:30 pm, Saturday, January 7, 16 persons were rescued while 45 others were still reported missing.

Earlier, weather forecasters and disaster management officials warned that more landslides are likely to occur nationwide as heavy rains could persist until August.

Graciano Yumul, supervising undersecretary of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, said the country will be in for a “wet summer” because of La Niña which raises temperatures and causes drought in other parts of the planet but brings heavy rains with it.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo gave the go-signal for the closure of the mining tunnels after meeting with local officials and municipal Mayor Celso Sarenas.

Compostela Valley Gov Arthur Uy said owners of mining tunnels were given 90 days to bring down to the mineral processing site in Lower Pantukan their ball mills.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[In the news] PNoy urged to sack DENR, local execs in Compostela Valley – PhilStar.com

PNoy urged to sack DENR, local execs in Compostela Valley
By Dennis Carcamo, PhilStar.com
January 06, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and local government officials in Compostela Valley should be sacked over the latest landslide that killed at least 25 people, according to a ranking Church official.

Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said these officials must be axed from their positions for gross negligence and failure to stop the illegal mining and logging activities in the area.

Gutierrez said the Aquino administration should also hold liable all the local officials concerned in protecting the natural resources in the province.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

[In the news] Search for missing resumes in Comval mining site landslide – InterAksyon.com

Search for missing resumes in Comval mining site landslide
by Abigail Kwok, InterAksyon.com| News5
January 6, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines — The death toll from the landslide that struck a mining community in Pantukan, Compostela Valley on Thursday rose to 27 after authorities resumed search and rescue operations on Friday, News5’s Romel Lopez reported.

Earlier, authorities said only 22 bodies have been recovered. Sixteen persons were rescued with injuries while at least eight more remain missing, the military said.

This was a drastic reduction from the 150 reported missing immediately after the incident, although “unconfirmed reports” placed the missing tally at around 40.

Some of the fatalities were identified as Ivy Tolentino, 14; Bea Tolentino, 6; Sheena Mae Tolentino, 12; Susana Velasquez, 48; Ruel Zamora, 27; Arlene Senoron, 23; Romnick Diagdal, 22; Rodel Taping, 29; and Christopher Diami, 7.

Read full article @interaksyon.com

[In the news] Philippines to shut some mines after landslide – h.news.yahoo.com

Philippines to shut some mines after landslide
AP – 11 hours ago

 MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine government on Friday ordered the shutdown of gold-mining tunnels threatened by landslides in a southern town where a chunk of a mountain tumbled down on sleeping residents, killing at least 27 people.

The landslide struck hours before dawn Thursday on a mountain dotted with mine shafts and crude shanties with corrugated metal roofs in Napnapan village in Compostela Valley province.

It was the area’s second deadly landslide in a year — 20 people were killed in a neighboring village last April — and prompted the environment secretary to call for curbing permits in the region’s small-scale gold-mining industry.

Authorities in Pantukan township, where Napnapan village is located, expect to complete a survey next week that will indicate where landslides are likely to happen. Mines that sit in the danger zone will be ordered shut, and the workers and their families living on the mountain will be relocated, said Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Robredo, who flew over the village in a military helicopter Friday, also ordered that gold ore processing be moved from Napnapan village to the town center so that the miners’ families don’t have to live with them near the mines.
“It will be more expensive, but it will be more safe,” he said. “I am sure there will be resistance — that’s why this will be enforced by the armed forces and the police.”

Read full article @ ph.news.yahoo.com

[In the news] Landslide kills 25 in Compostela Valley; dozens missing – newsinfo.inquirer.net

Landslide kills 25 in Compostela Valley; dozens missing
By Inquirer Mindanao
January 6th, 2012

 PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley—It was another environmental nightmare that experts had warned of, yet nobody acted decisively.

Tons of mud from mountainsides crashed on shanties in a sleeping mining community in Barangay (village) Napnapan here before dawn yesterday, killing at least 25 people, including women and children, officials said.

Fifteen people were injured while dozens of others remained missing, according to municipal health officer Arnulfo Lantaya. At least three landslides reportedly occurred in Diat Uno and Diat Palo sub-villages.

Colonel Lyndon Paniza, 10th Infantry Division spokesperson, said “the worst-hit area was in the middle of the community, where there are many shanties.” He described the devastation as “enormous.”

An aerial survey conducted by the military showed a mud sweep 50 meters wide and 150 meters deep over Diat Uno and Diat Palo.

About 30 square meters of loosen earth from Diat Dos fell sharply by 200 meters over Diat Uno, where small miners were digging tunnels and built their homes, Paniza said.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[In the news] 16 rescued, 25 dead in Compostela Valley – www.RAPPLER.com

16 rescued, 25 dead in Compostela Valley – RAPPLER – Philippine News | Multimedia | Citizen Journalism | Social Media.


January 5, 2012

 PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley – Rescuers saved 16 residents here following a landslide that has killed 25 people.

It’s a tough situation. The Army could not transport heavy equipment to the area thus the troops end up doing “hand and shovel rescue,” Col. Bert Domines, commander of the Army’s 103 brigade in the province, told ANC. Dogs are also helping out in the search and rescue operations, Domines said.

Lt. Col. Leopoldo Galon, Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson, told reporters here that mud and debris covered more than 50 houses in Diat 1, Barangay Napnapan, Pantukan, at around 3 am Thursday.

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) of Pantukan said that 16 individuals were rescued as of 12 noon Thursday. The number of missing individuals is still undetermined.

“As of now, 6 of the 16 rescued persons are now in the hospital,” said Dr Arnulfo Lataya, spokesperson of MDRRMC.

Read full article @ www.rappler.com

[Statement] Protect Indigenous and Rural Communities, not Mining Companies- LRCK-KsK/FoE-Philippines

October 16, 2011

Protect Indigenous and Rural Communities, not Mining Companies

The Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center calls on President Aquino to stop the cycle of violence in ancestral domains and rural communities by taking back his approval of the military proposal of mining firms funding and organizing their own Special CAFGU Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) units to secure their operations. It is the indigenous peoples and rural communities that are in dire need of protection from violence and attacks, not mining corporations.

Indigenous peoples in ancestral domains targeted by corporations for large scale extraction of their mineral wealth have never been plagued with continuous perpetration and threats of violations and violence in the history of their tribes’ existence as they are going through right now with the government’s implementation of the Mining Act of 1995. Their lives and territories have always been under attack due to conflicts caused by mining.

President Aquino’s approval of mining militias violates indigenous peoples right to self determination inside their ancestral domains. Genuine peace and development in ancestral domains demand that the state respect the right to self determination of indigenous peoples which includes their right to decide their own path to development and their free, prior and informed consent to any policies and actions that would intrude in their lives and territories. The entry of mining corporations into ancestral domains have been marked with violations of indigenous peoples rights and this will be terribly aggravated with the presidential approval of the creation of mining militias in indigenous peoples territories.

We are demanding from President Aquino to make a break in the cycle of violence that has marked government policies and actions in the past. Do not use the rebel attacks against mining operations in Claver as an excuse to again escalate conflict and violence in ancestral domains and rural communities.

In 2008, ex-president Arroyo created the Investments Defense Force after NPA rebels attacked a gold processing plant in Compostela Valley. In just a couple of months, heightened military deployment and operations in minderal rich areas in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental had resulted in the displacement of hundreds of Mansaka, Mandaya and peasant settler families as well as allegations of harassment, physical assault and torture of individuals.

Regular security forces of mining corporations have already racked up a growing number of violent attacks on community members and protesters against mining operations. In 2007 the chief security of Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Corporation (SNPDC) shot to death Sibuyan councilor Armin Marin during a protest outside the mine. Just this March the company guard of TVI Resources Development (TVIRD) also shot to death Rudy Segovia in a road blockade that was set up in protest of TVIRD operations.

Members of the CAFGU, SCAAs, and other militias have a long history of human rights violations in the Philippines including torture and killings, approving mining militias would be tantamount to formalizing mining related human rights violations. As it is, even without P-Noy’s approval of mining militias, there already is a long list of indigenous peoples leaders, environmentalists and human rights defenders who have been killed in the course of their struggle against mining. Eliezer Billianes who led campaigns against the Swiss Xstrata Tampakan Gold Copper Project was killed in a public market in 2009. Ricardo Banad who had opposed the Mindoro Nickel Project of Norwegian Intex Resources was killed in his house in 2010. Just this January, Dr. Jerry Ortega who had opposed mining in Palawan was shot dead hired killers.

Again we urge President Aquino to put an end to all this violence, prioritize the protection of indigenous peoples and rural communities and work to give justice to mining related human rights violations.

It is also time for government to end facilitating and protecting corporate plunder of the environment at all costs in exchange for a pittance in government revenues. A new Minerals Management Law must be enacted to replace the conflict causing Mining Act of 1995.

Statement from the men and women of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center – Kasama sa Kalikasan / Friends of the Earth – Philippines (LRCK-KsK/FoE-Philippines)

[From the web] Legarda Warns LGUs to be More Circumspect About Permitting Gold Mining Operations- www.senate.gov.ph

Legarda Warns LGUs to be More Circumspect
About Permitting Gold Mining Operations

The chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and Committee on Cultural Communities Senator Loren Legarda today warned environment officials and local government units (LGUs) to be more circumspect about permitting gold mining operations, amid reports of locals rushing to abandoned mines to pan for gold.

In a news report, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said that gold mines in Compostela Valley, the Agusan provinces, Masbate, Cagayan Valley and Nueva Vizcaya currently experience a revival of interest in gold after its price hit a record high of $1,900 per ounce in August and is expected to hit $2,000 in December because many investors in the United States prefer to invest in gold following the financial crisis there.

She said LGUs should be wary because this might just lead to health and environmental problems, all the more with the fact that 70 percent of gold in the country is produced by small-scale mining industry.

“We must first determine whether the benefits that will be derived from this gold rush are worth the social and environmental costs that result from it,” Legarda said.

Legarda said small-scale mining operations could pollute tributaries and water systems which could result in fish kill aside from adversely affecting the livestock industry and agricultural production.

“The toxic effects of mercury used in gold mining poses great threat to human health even at low doses,” Legarda added.

In Tagum, Davao del Norte, for example, health findings showed exposure of schoolchildren to mercury due to gold mining operations,” said the Senator.

“If small-scale gold mining would be performed without adequate government regulation, there is no doubt that this will not be good in the end,” Legarda concluded.

[In the news] NPA rebs demand SOMO in 4 provinces for captives’ release – www.philstar.com

NPA rebs demand SOMO in 4 provinces for captives’ release
By Edith Regalado The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY, Philippines  – The New People’s Army (NPA) has set certain conditions in exchange for the freedom of captive Mayor Henry Dano of Lingig, Surigao del Sur and two soldiers who served as his escorts.

According to the local crisis management committee headed by Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel, the NPA rebels demanded a suspension of military operations (SOMO) not only in Surigao del Sur but also in Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Bukidnon so Dano and his two security aides could be released after over a month in captivity.

The insurgents reportedly placed Dano under investigation, and also probed Cpl. Alrey Villasis Desamparado and Pfc. Allan Pelino Saban for allegedly being part of intelligence operations against the NPA.

However, Lt. Gen. Arthur Tabaquero, chief of the Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), said it is impossible to meet the NPA demand as the military could not carry out a SOMO covering such a wide area.

“It is definitely impossible. Why should we stop our job as protector of our people just to give in to their demands?” Tabaquero said.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

[In the news]Mining as big ticket industry to save our poor – FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa | The Philippine Star News Opinion

Mining as big ticket industry to save our poor – FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa | The Philippine Star News Opinion.

FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star)

There are several sides in the mining controversy following the landslide that killed more than a dozen people in Pantukan town, Compostela Valley. The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE) and Bantay Kalikasan is one. It immediately blamed large-scale mining although the disaster involved its opposite  small mining or mining by poor people with picks and shovels. This line of attack is similar to the Ortega murder when his murder was blamed for his broadcasts against mining in Palawan. Ortega is a broadcaster, a journalist, who, true to his calling, took up a number of advocacies, mining being one of them. He was also against graft.

The initial findings of Ortega’s alleged murder leads to his crusade against local officials whom he accused of graft. The graft comes from the misuse of funds from the share of local authorities from Malampaya, the oil and gas being piped into the city by its owners Shell and the Lopez-owned First Philippine Holdings. (It is the same First Philippine Holdings that has been sued by condominium owners of West Tower where a leaking oil pipe was found). We will never hear of this from Bantay Kalikasan even if oil exploration is mining and is equally a source of environmental degradation. Gasoline and oil coming from mined fossil fuels run electricity, cars and most industries.

I am all for guarding our environment and the judicious use of our natural resources, but any campaign against mining should be fair and applied equally. Groups that want mining banned are being hypocritical because almost all that we use in our daily lives come from metals and minerals whether cars, computers, medical instruments and houses.

Allied with the Bantay Kalikasan are sectors of the Catholic church with one bishop calling for a moratorium on mining until “an efficient monitoring is in place”. One of the injured miners asked the bishop “whether he could also put a moratorium on his family’s hunger.” Living in those outlying god-forsaken areas without roads or other amenities have made the poor living there turn to small mining for their livelihood. The Filipino saying “kapit sa patalim” best describes their predicament.

Read full article @ Philstar.com (link above)

[In the news] DENR won’t impose mining moratorium – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

DENR won’t impose mining moratorium – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos.

By Kristine L. Alave, Vincent Cabreza
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer Northern Luzon

MANILA, Philippines—The director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), an agency under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Tuesday dismissed the call of a Catholic bishop to declare a moratorium on mining in the wake of the Good Friday landslide in Pantukan town, Compostela Valley province.

MGB director Leo Jasareno said stopping all mining activities nationwide was a disproportionate reaction to the landslide that killed at least eight persons in the gold mining community of Panganason in Barangay Kingking. He said the problem was illegal small-scale mining, and not the mining industry in itself.

Jasareno said small-scale mining was vital to the mining industry, being responsible for about 70 percent of the gold mined in the country. (The quarrying of gravel and sand is also done by small-scale miners.)

Read full article @ INQUIRER.net (Link above)

[In the news] Hopes dim for 17 miners | The Philippine Star News Headline

Hopes dim for 17 miners | The Philippine Star News Headlines.

MANILA, Philippines –  Hopes of finding more survivors dimmed yesterday even as rescuers raced against time in the search for up to 17 people believed trapped after a landslide hit a remote gold-rush area in Pantukan, Compostela Valley on Good Friday.

Rescuers dug out two more bodies from tons of soil and mud yesterday in the frantic search for other miners still unaccounted for more than two days after the landslide.

The official death toll from Friday’s disaster reached five but Pantukan town Mayor Celso Sarenas conceded the chance of finding more survivors was slim.

Thirteen miners have been rescued while 17 are still missing.

Officials identified four of the fatalities as Marjun Guilabtan, 18; Relieto Tabay, 22; Jun Rex Torrejos, 15, and Marvin Anglai.

Soldiers and miners were digging with shovels and hands, and a backhoe from a nearby mining operation was helping in the rescue.

“We have to be realistic,” Sarenas declared. “We believe most of the missing were in their bunkhouses when the landslide occurred.”

Regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said the troops have shifted from search and rescue to retrieval operations in the affected area.

Read full article @ PHILSTAR.com

[In the news] Mindanao landslide toll rises to 27 —authorities – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Mindanao landslide toll rises to 27 —authorities – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos.

By Frinston Lim, Dennis Jay Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 11:01:00 04/22/2011

Filed Under: Mining and quarrying, Landslide

Photo : Inquirer.net

PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley—(UPDATE 3) At least 27 bodies have already been pulled out of mud as rescue and search operation continued in the disaster-hit area of Kingking village here.

Pantukan Mayor Celso Sarenas said among those dead were children but he could not say how many exactly. He said the toll count was as of 2 p.m.

Fears about more casualties have mounted as the number of missing persons could easily hit more than two dozen, sources said.

Senior Superintendent Aaron Aquino, Compostela Valley police chief, said poor visibility due to thick clouds prevented Air Force helicopters from landing at Panganason village.

Six people were earlier rescued by soldiers, policemen and civilians after a part of a mountain collapsed in Panganason, Kingking village around 2:30 a.m., according to Lieutenant Colonel Camilo Ligayo, commander of the army’s 701st Infantry Brigade.

Read full article @ Inquirer.net

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