Last June 23, 2009, a team led by Ms. Lita Jumilla, Small Scale Mining Application (SSM) in-charge under South Cotabato Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), raided the illegal “banlas” SSM operation within Sitio Kampo Kelot/Mangisi, Brgy. Pulabato, Tampakan, South Cotabato.
With her were Tampakan Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) representatives, elements of PNP Tampakan, 1st Lt. Dennis Nolasco and Lt. Jessica Leviste,, 27th IB PA, two staff from Diocesan Social Action Center (DSAC) and Radyo Bombo reporters.
Around 6:30am the team moved towards Sitio Kampo Kelot, some 2 kms. from SMI’s base camp. Brgy. Capt. Rodel Sitcharon met the team. He was accompanied by armed CVOs/BDS’ members.
Brgy. Capt. Sitcharon informed the team they were not able to capture even one SS miner, because the planned raid was “burned-out”.
He told Ms. Jumilla he would just gift her with a tunnel. On the way they were misled by the guide – a man of Capt. Sitcharon.
The ream felt they were being deceived. But a radio report from the group of 1st Lt. Nolasco said they captured a person on the “banlas” site. So the team decided to go to the area.
Ms. Jumilla confirmed the report that a small scale mining operation has been going on in Sitio Kampo Kelot. Water hoses were found. This is the northern part.
A PNP ranger assigned to the PEMO for five years reached the southern part of Sitio Kampo Kelot. Signs of ongoing illegal SSM were discovered.
Findings: 1) instruments for panning gold, etc. 2) 2 spades; 3) 25 pieces of boxes (sieves) installed in the river; 4) water hoses 5) water pump of UPD used to supply water for drilling.
PEMO staff secured the evidences. Water pump however was left in place.
Mariano Tokaydo, a B’laan and resident of Purok Gumamela, Brgy. Pulabato, and caretaker of the water pump informed the team panners operated in the area owned by Yol Maguling who was already charged with illegal SSM operation. He added the UPD and SMI employees know of the illegal SSM operations, as the water pump is only 2 meters away from the panning site.
Another B’laan, a certain Mr. Malayon confirmed that the illegal hydraulic mining is in full operation in the area. He added that Yol Maguling is the financier in the area.
Ms. Jumilla convinced Mr. Mariano Tokaydo to sign an affidavit on the illegal mining before the PNP Tampakan.
Meanwhile, the person reported captured by Lt. Nolasco was able to escape, notwithstanding the presence of 40 to 50 fully armed members of Charlie Coy of 27th IB and CVOs/BDS of Brgy. Capt. Rodel Sitcharon. (From a report of the DSAC staff).
Source: Communication from the Bishop (No. 541, July 4, 2009)