Anti-mining protest dispersed in Zambales; 7 arrested

Randy Datu
Anti-mining protest dispersed in Zambales; 7 arrested
Residents of Candelaria town barricade the road to stop the hauling trucks of a mining site – following the same protests in another town, Santa Cruz

ZAMBALES, Philippines – A protest action against mining operations in a northern town in this province turned violent on Tuesday, March 1, after local police began dispersing the protesters’ line.

As of posting, resident-protesters are blocking the road in an effort to stop hauling trucks from going out of the mining site in Barangay Uacon, Candelaria town. The protests started January 19 in another town, Santa Cruz.

Residents formed a human barricade to block 13 hauling trucks loaded with nickel.

According to Dr Benito Molino, one of the leaders of the protesters, policemen arrived early morning Tuesday and started arresting some of the protesters and jailed them at Candelaria Police Station.

Among those arrested were Marlo Murciano, Elmer Manamtan, Christane Manamtan, Bitoy Ednalan, Roy Edejer, Jojo Excio, and Charm Jad Barrera. Police charged them with illegal assembly and disobedience.

Those arrested would not be released until after inquest proceedings, the police said.

In February, local authorities also arrested Santa Cruz residents and charged 10 of them for their anti-mining protests.

On Tuesday, protesters held a two-hour prayer vigil where the hauling trucks were passing. Residents said the mining operations are destroying their roads and causing health problems among the children due to severe dust and noise.

The residents have blamed the mining operations in Santa Cruz and Candelaria for the destruction of their farmlands, rivers, creeks, and mountains. – 


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