“Mag-joint mi sa committee on ecology on the investigation of the landslides in Benguet and Naga City. Speaker Arroyo’s supportive of that. We’re just waiting for the resolutions to come in and take this up in the committee and call for an investigation when we all have these resolutions,” he told reporters.
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House probe sought on Naga landslide
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, May Miasco, Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - October 6, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City South District Representative Rodrigo Abellanosa will ask the House of Representatives to investigate the landslide incidents in Benguet and Naga City.

 

Abellanosa, chairman of House of Representatives’ committee on natural resources, said the committee will prioritize the investigation within the month as he got the go signal from House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Mag-joint mi sa committee on ecology on the investigation of the landslides in Benguet and Naga City.  Speaker Arroyo’s supportive of that. We’re just waiting for the resolutions to come in and take this up in the committee and call for an investigation when we all have these resolutions,” he told reporters.

Earlier, the president has called on Congress to repeal the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 after the landslide in Benguet during the onslaught of tropical storm Ompong last month.

Abellanosa said there are also other proposed legislations calling to impose stricter rules for mining and quarrying in the country, adding that there are also pending resolutions for the rehabilitation of the mined areas in the country.

Meanwhile, activists reportedly intervened a solemn gathering of the bereaved families in Barangay Tina-an, Naga City yesterday that turned the event into a protest action.

The actual residents in severely-affected sitio Sindulan and Tagaytay did not appreciate the move of some cause-oriented groups that staged a rally.

Mary Grace Capoy from Sitio Sindulan, who lost three siblings, said the affected families joined the activity solely for the morning Mass that was already scheduled at 7:30 a.m. right at the landslide area, which is an interior part of the barangay.

People had to walk a few meters from the highway in going to the affected area.

Capoy and her mother, who were spared from the landslide, were already able to enter the sitio with other families who went there early morning to also set up for the Mass.

Both decided to go out to buy flowers.

On their way back inside, policemen reportedly blocked them and some other residents upon orders of the police chief.

An argument between the police and the residents ensued, when the people insisted to be allowed to pass through since the others are already waiting inside for the Mass to start.

Police Chief Inspector Roderick Gonzales, Naga Police Station chief, said the event served a good purpose but activists or leftists are taking advantage of it that is why the police are not allowing them to enter.

"Maganda purpose nila pero ginagamit lang sila ng mga kaliwang grupo. Kawawa ang taga Sindulan. Ayaw kong magamit ang magagandang loob na tao sa mga taong 'yan. Mapagsamantala ang mga tao na yan," he said.

With the police who stood their guard at the corner of the highway and the entry point heading to the interior, the families decided to hear the Mass at the nearby parking space.

Capoy said the bereaved families would have wanted to offer prayers and flowers for their dead loved ones at the site where they were buried alive during the September 20 landslide.

Winley dela Fuente from Barangay South Poblacion, City of Naga, said the bereaved families were gathered since they also have a greater cause, but not to hold protest actions.

He said the families were also asked for their affidavits that will be used for the filing of writ of kalikasan that seeks to end all quarrying operations in the province.

After the Mass, some cause-oriented groups headed to nearby APO CEMEX plant bringing banners, tarpaulins, and flags bearing message to stop quarrying.

Meanwhile, the Cebu Provincial Board is set to discuss on its regular session the intention of the Capitol to donate parcels of Balili property to the city of Naga where the lot is located.

Governor Hilario Davide III has submitted the draft of the deed of donation of the 2.1 hectares lot which will be the relocation of the landslide victims.

The resolution, which Vice Governor Agnes Magpale and Board Members Yolanda Daan and Raul Bacaltus had authored, is already included in the agenda for Monday's session.

Davide assured the families that the lot is safe for relocation, as the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) gave a positive assessment on the lot.

Also invited on Monday's regular session are Capitol officials and mayors to shed light on the recent landslide.

Those invited include Provincial Disaster Management Chief Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., PENRO Chief Jayson Lozano; MGB OIC Engr. Efren Carido and the mayors who are officers of the League of Municipalities-Cebu Chapter. — GAN (FREEMAN)

 

NAGA LANDSLIDE RODRIGO ABELLANOSA
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