Itogon Mayor appeals to Benguet Corp for burial site, temporary shelter

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2018 03:46 PM

Men carry a coffin past waiting relatives on the fourth day of search and retrieval operations for those missing at a landslide in Itogon, Benguet, September 19, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News


MANILA – Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan on Thursday appealed to mining operator Benguet Corp to coordinate with the local government in providing temporary shelter for displaced families and a burial site for victims. 

This amid continuing search operations at a mining site hit by a landslide following the devastation of Typhoon Ompong over the weekend, leaving at least 22 dead in Barangay Ucab. 

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In a press briefing, Palangdan said Benguet Corp has not been coordinating with local authorities even as it has dispatched representatives to help out. 

“Panawagan po sa Benguet Corp (I appeal to Benguet Corp), they should come here and we should talk about this matter so that ma-address naman kahit papaano ang problema ng ating kababayan (so that we can address the problem of the people),” Palangdan said. 

"May magdo-donate na temporary shelter pero saan ang lupa na paglalagyan natin (Where do we place these temporary shelters)? Wala silang coordination sa akin pero may tauhan na raw na tumutulong sa ground zero (They have not been coordinating with me but they have people helping out on ground zero)," Palangdan said.

Benguet Corp earlier said illegal small-scale miners occupied one of its former open-pit mines in Itogon despite warnings that the area was declared a geohazard zone and not safe for habitation.

But anti-mining advocate and national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina Jaybee Garganera said Benguet Corp should be held liable for the deadly landslide.