Farmers block drilling firm hired for gold explo in Surigao

Some 70 residents belonging to the Anislagan Bantay Kalikasan Task Force (ABAKATAF) and members of the barangay council have barricaded the road leading to the mine site since January 6.

They have also set up a makeshift tent across the barangay road as their shelter during nighttime.

KCGR is a joint venture of the world’s second largest mining company Anglo-American Corporation and the Manila Mining Corporation, a subsidiary company of the London-based transnational Lepanto Mining firm.

MMC is the holder of a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) covering 5,000 hectares in the province.   

"We do not want mining in our community because majority of us are farmers and we are dependent on our land and our water for survival,” said Daniel Gonzales, president of the Anislagan Irrigators Association.

Carl Cesar Rebuta of the Cagayan de Oro City-based Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center said the community organized themselves into ABAKATAF during the height of their first human barricade in September 2002.

The protest prompted the DENR to issue an indefinite moratorium against the mining activities of MMC.  

Rebuta added that the ABAKATAF was primarily organized to protect the community's land, livelihood and life which are threatened by the entry of mining companies.

Anislagan is an agricultural community of about 400 households or roughly 2,000 individuals. It supplies potable water to the whole town of Placer and irrigates the rice fields in nearby barangays.

In July 2007, the barangay council issued a resolution opposing the operation of KCGR, barangay chair Mario Tejada said in statement sent to MindaNews.

KCGR could not be reached for comment. (Alden Pantaleon Jr./MindaNews)