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davidIn a recent letter dated April 20, 2016 addressed to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)  Director Leo L. Jasareno, a copy of which was furnished to MGB-IX Regional Director Alfredo T. Relampagos, Legal Counsel for the Balabag-Guinoman-Diplahan Indigenous Peoples (BGD-IP) group Atty. Fernando D. David, had commended MGB for promptly acting on their letter-complaint re the alleged illegal small-scale mining activities in the ancestral land of Baliguian-Guinoman-Diplahan Indigenous Peoples (BGD-IP) in Balabag, Zamboanga del Sur. 

In his letter to Jasareno, David informed MGB that based on the actual ground verification conducted by the Indigenous People (IP) in April 15, 2016, “There are no more ‘guerilla type of mining by persons under the command of the TVI security officers”.

It can be recalled that MGB had received two separate letter-complaints from Atty. David addressed to Director Jasareno and RD Relampagos respectively, alleging illegal mining activities to be on going within Balabag Mountain, an ancestral land belonging to his clients (BGD-IP). Moreover, Special Civilian Active Auxiliaries (SCAA) was purportedly operating these activities under the command of Security Officers, Ret. Col. Valentino Edang and Ret. Col. Cipriano Bayan of TVI Resource Development Phils. (TVIRDP).

The  Mines  and  Geosciences  Bureau-IX (MGB-IX), through its OIC Regional  Director  Engr. Alfredo T. Relampagos,  facilitated on  April 14, 2016, the  filing of Complaint before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Zamboanga del  Norte  for  an  alleged  Theft of Minerals, in  violation  of Section  103  of Republic  Act No.  7942  or otherwise  known as the Philippine  Mining  Act of 1995. The  complaint  contained  allegations   against   one   Antonio Oresga Patayon  for  extracting   and transporting   illegally   sourced   mineral   ores extracted from the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) area of Siocon Subanen   Association   Inc.  (SSAI)  in Sitio  Malusok,   Barangay  Kilalaban, Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte. 

In response to the need of an intensive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign for the awareness and preparedness of the public on climate change adaptation and mitigation, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), through its regional offices, had incorporated in its annual work porgram, the conduct of an IEC campaign to 1,300 barangays for each region nationwide. Dubbed as “Living with Geohazards in Region IX”, MGB-IX begun its IEC series to the 98 barangays of Zamboanga City last January 19-22 and 25-28, 2016, respectively.