SORSOGON CITY, 17Sept2019 – An elected board member in his radio program in Sorsogon, Tuesday morning lambasted farmers groups as “trouble makers” which are protesting against quarrying in the city.
Board member Edmundo Atutubo said these groups only cause trouble and they are always against the government.
Atutubo said in his radio program that these groups are fronts of the communists and some are now in Congress like Bayan Muna.
Farmers group Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Sorsogon (Samasor) said, that the statements of Board Member Atutubo are putting the members of legitimate groups and farmers in danger, instead as elected official, he should be objective in presenting the issues in public, not subjective and restrain from making conclusions before studying the pros and cons.
The group said Atutubo is not fit for the position as board member. Instead of protecting the interest of the public, he has now become a mouthpiece of big capitalists and businessmen in the province.
“How can this official protect the interest of the people if he is beholden to his benefactor (politician and businessmen) during election?”, the group hurled back the question.
According to the group, Atutubo has forgotten where he came from. A former idealist public servant now protecting the interest of the few.
Meanwhile, Samasor members vow to continue staging protest against the quarrying in the city, which is detrimental to the interest of farmers and will cause environmental destruction.
Farmers, environmentalists demand end to quarrying in the city
Meanwhile, farmers and environmentalist groups demand stop to quarrying in Barangay Basud, Sorsogon City.
During a dialogue with Ms. Maribeth Fruto, PENRO LGU Sorsogon and Atty. Ron Ely Espinosa, provincial legal counsel, the group insisted a stop to quarrying of gravel and sand in their place which is a farmland.
The protesting farmers fear that continued quarrying might cause the collapse of a dam which is the source of water supply for the residents.
The groups want Governor Chiz Escudero to cancel the permit granted to the construction firm.
This morning, September 17, 2019, a barricade was set up by residents to block the entry of trucks hauling gravel and sand from the Cawayan River.
According to Samasor, their barricade will continue until Governor Escudero cancels the permit and put a stop to quarrying along the Cawayan River.
Dredging continue, quarrying stopped
That afternoon, during a committee meeting headed by Board member Roland Añonuevo at the Provincial Board, it was recommended, with motion by Vice Governor Wowo Fortes, that quarry materials will no longer be carried out from Barangay Basud and Guilajon, as announced by Dong Mendoza, provincial information officer, in his Facebook post.
Mendoza also said, if there are activities among heavy equipment at the quarry area, they are involved in the dredging and re-channeling of Cawayan River. But, transporting out gravel and sand are no longer permitted.
Within 2 months, from July to August this year, quarrying as a result of dredging and re-channeling of Cawayan River has brought in income for the Provincial treasury in the amount of Php 1.3 million.
This income is much better as compared to the Php 800,000 quarry income declared by the Province last year which was under a different Administration, Mendoza said.