A statement by Zambales governor, Amor Deloso became hot topic when he revealed that the Chinese government is allegedly using Philippine soil extracted from the mountains of Sta. Cruz, Zambales to build their artificial islands on Scarborough Shoal.
UNTV News & Rescue travelled to Zambales to personally confirm the claims of Gov. Deloso regarding the widespread destruction on its mountains.
Together with local officials, the team visited LNL Archipelago Minerals Incorporated in Barangay Guinabon.
From the entrance, one can clearly see that the foot of the mountain had been hewn out to create roads for heavy equipment.
LNL ‘s Sta.Cruz Nickel Mining Project resident manager, Deody Solee confirmed that the soils extracted from their mines are being transported to China. However, Solee strongly denies they are being used on Scarborough Shoal.
“There’s no truth to that. Can you imagine yung lupa ang itatabon nila dun, na madaling anurin ng dagat yun. So supposed to be, dapat ang nilalagay dun bato, para hindi mabubuwag yung kung itatambak nila dun sa dagat,” explained Solee.
(There’s no truth to that. Can you imagine if they use the soil as landfill; the sea will sweep it away. So supposed to be, rocks should be used to stabilize the landfill so as not to be easily eroded by the sea.)
On the other hand, Governor Deloso said, the company should refute allegations on the issue.
“Kapag sinasabi nila ngayon na hindi totoo itinambak doon sa Scarborough (Shoal) then there must be a trace of the documents. Meron ba silang Bureau of Customs permit? Meron ba silang Coastguard permit? Because to bring out the minerals from Zambales for purpose of mining exportation, kailangan may trace of documents. Can they really prove that?”
(If they are now denying that the soil is being deposited on Scarborough (Shoal) then there must be a trace of the documents. Do they have Bureau of Customs permit? Do they have Coast Guard permit? Because to bring out the minerals from Zambales for purpose of mining exportation, there should be a trace of documents. Can they really prove that?)
The UNTV team visited other mining companies operating in Zambales to verify reported damaging effects of mining activities on the environment.
With the help of a drone, UNTV was able to capture the extent of damage that Eramen Minerals Incorporated and Bengetcorp Nickel Mines Incorporated have purportedly inflicted on two mountains in the course of their mining operations.
According to Deloso, thousands of trees have also died including the endemic Mindoro Pine Tree.
UNTV had tried to get a statement from Benguetcorp Nickel Mines Incorporated but the latter refused an interview.
(JOSHUA ANTONIO/ UNTV News & Rescue)
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