CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The highest official of the Roman Catholic Church here has reiterated his call early Monday night for a moratorium on mining activities even as he hit claims that mining has not contributed to the devastation wrought by Typhoon Sendong last December.
Mayor Vicente Emano said that he had issued “special permits” to mine several hectares in the city’s hinterlands and had not suspended these operations despite snowballing calls for him to halt theses operations. Most members of the City Council here have supported the mayor’s stance.
“I admit I have granted special permits; the law allows me to do that. But [the mining operations] must not destroy the ecology,” Emano said, adding that he will only order the stop of all mining operations in the city if a study conducted immediately “shows that mining operations have destroyed the environment.”
“Only then will we immediately order the cancellation of the permits,” he said.
Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD, a long and staunch defender of the environment, has repeatedly called for a stop to all mining operations in the city and in the country and has scored the seeming “business as usual” stance of city government officials following the devastation caused by Sendong.
“It is unconscionable for city officials to adopt a ‘business as usual’ attitude for mining permits to continue,” Ledesma said in his homily during the early Monday night Eucharistic celebration at the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral marking the opening of the “DCM and Bishops’ Forum on Typhoon Sendong and its challenges for Mindanao” as well as a thanksgiving celebration for the 60th anniversary of the archdiocese.