Drone captures sorry state of Zambales mountains allegedly mined for China’s artificial islands
admin • August 8, 2016 • 20955
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 Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Incorporated but the latter refused an interview.
MANILA, Philippines — The South East Asia Cooperation and Training or SEACAT Exercise 2017 began on Monday in the Philippines.
This is a yearly multilateral maritime security information sharing exercise in Asia.
For the first time, this year’s SEACAT exercise focuses on anti-terrorism efforts and on preventing the spread of illegal drugs through the maritime sector.
“We have a porous border. The campaign of the president against illegal drugs should be intensified, as well as his campaign against terrorism. In terms of the illegal drugs menace, the US Coastguard, in particular, is expert on that matter,” said Philippine Coast Guard Spokesperson Cmdr. Armand Balilo.
“Addressing terrorism is also important because we are now guarding the Southern Philippines. This is so that those attempting to wreak havoc in the country will not be able to enter,” he added.
45 members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine Navy represented the country in the maritime drill.
This was also the first time the Philippine Navy and PCG participated in the SEACAT since its inception in 2002.
The SEACAT is led by the US Coast Guard with representatives from other Southeast Asian Coast Guards and navies like the Indonesian Coast Guard or BAKAMLA, Indonesia Navy, Sri Lanka Navy, Royal Thai Navy and the Thai Maritime Law Enforcement Coordinating Center.
The SEACAT has three phases. First is the academic seminar which is held in Singapore. Second is the boarding workshop held here in the Philippines and the command post exercise which will be held in Singapore and Brunei.
The US and South East Asian navies and coast guards will deploy their vessels and aircraft here in the Philippines, with the special operations group to do the deployment in Subic, Zambales and the Philippine Navy in several parts of Sulu.
Meanwhile, the PCG clarified that the Philippines’ relationship with China will not be tarnished by the two countries’ territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea.
“We have a clear cut guidance from the president. We have agreements, in fact we have law enforcement teams to be sent to China. So whatever the conflict in terms of territory would be, we are leaving it up to the Department of Foreign Affairs,” Balilo said. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue
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