Bishop to officials: Stop mining now
January 13, 2012
CAGAYAN de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma on Wednesday challenged city hall to show some political will by putting a stop to all mining activities in the city in the aftermath of the Typhoon Sendong devastation last month. Ledesma said this a day after the city council majority blocked a proposal made by Councilors Edgar Cabanlas and Roger Abaday for a suspension of mining operations in the city. The opposition council subsequently called for an investigation into the alleged ties of some of the legislators to miners.
The proposal was blocked by Councilor President Elipe. Councilors Alden Bacal and Simeon Licayan threw their support behind Elipe. Elipe argued that there were no data to support the conclusion that mining factored in the floodings last month. The Roman Catholic archdiocese has called on civil society groups to pressure the local government to do something to stop the mining operations.
“It is high time for the civil society groups and everyone concerned to have a common campaign against environmental destruction. This should cut across party lines because this is not a political partisan move but a proenvironmental move,” said Ledesma. He said he hoped civil society group would move immediately.
“I support the move for the moratorium or complete stoppage of mining and logging operations in the hinterLand barangays. Local of ficials should do something about the mining operations which caused heavy siltation and erosions,” Ledesma said. In a pastoral letter last Dec. 21, the archbishop blamed illegal logging and mining activities for the degradation of the environment and the siltation of the river bed of the Cagayan de Oro and Iponan rivers.
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