‘Delayed and detained,’ insists official

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Provincial Administrator Manuel Tabora said they were definitely detained inside the “mining compound” during the June 7 visit to Barangay Didipio, Kasibu of four house representatives including Rep. Carlos Padilla and together with Gov. Luisa Loren Cuaresma, and other provincial officials.

In an interview with The Manila Times, members of the Vizcaya delegation that joined the visit claimed they had to wait for more than 20 minutes before they were allowed entry by the police officers in checkpoint at Barangay Burgos, Cabarroguis, Quirino province.

Tabora said, after having been accosted for more than 20 minutes at the police checkpoint “and not five minutes as claimed by the police,” they were allowed to get inside. “On our way, we were not allowed to pass another barricade that was padlocked and the guards refused to unlock it.”

Tabora said the incident at the police checkpoint is a separate situation from that which transpired inside the mining compound. “That is where we were somehow detained because we were already inside and not allowed to get through the barricade.”

One provincial security officer who requested anonymity said that when they were inside the compound, they discovered their tents transferred from their original setups but the security guards of Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. who were there, allegedly carrying long firearms, denied having transferred the said tents supposedly to be used by the provincial employees.

In the June 9 issue of The Manila Times, Rep. Padilla complained that he and his three colleagues, Rep. Solomon Chungalao of Ifugao and Party-list Representatives Teodoro Casiño and Luzviminda Ilagan were “detained” for almost half an hour inside the police checkpoint while on their way to Barangay Didipio, Kasibu for a congressional committee inquiry on alleged abuses of the foreign firm conducting the large-scale mining operation in the area.

The solons, all members of the House Committee on Cultural Communities, passed Resolution 594 seeking an inquiry over alleged abuses committed on tribal villagers by Oceana Gold in their operation of the Didipio project, one of the only two large-scale mining ventures approved since the enactment of the 1995 Mining Act. Gene Basilio

Chungalao, Casiño and Ilagan vowed to bring the “horrible experience” before the House plenary.

In his report to Police Dir. General Avelino Razon Jr., Police Chief Superintendent Ameto Gil Tolentino, Regional Dir. of Police Regional Office 02, said that the PNP personnel manning the checkpoint stopped the convoy of Rep. Padilla for five minutes and not 30 minutes as alleged. “They may have been delayed but definitely were not detained,” Tolentino said.

Tabora said however that Rep. Padilla and all the rest of the delegation could not lie. “We were stopped and even if Governor Cuaresma already introduced herself, we were still inspected without considering that these high-ranking elected officials are the ones they should be protecting.”
— Gene Basilio(ManilaTimes)


My Take:

Grabe talaga ang pangil ng state-terrorism.  Maski gov’t oficial di pinapatawad.  Hay naku, sino pa ba ang maaasahan natin ngayong magprotekta sa atin kung ganito na ang ginagawa ng mga kapulisan natin?  Tapos magrereport pa ng kasinungalingang pantakip.


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