P3-B suit to be filed by landslide victims

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |October 05,2018 - 11:05 PM

Policemen block residents from entering ground zero in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City. | Christian Maningo

The fight for justice for the victims of the Naga City landslide will start on October 29, exactly forty days since the massive landslide wiped out Sitios Tagaytay and Sindulan in Barangay Tinaan.

The class suit spearheaded by some of the city’s concerned citizens and affected residents will be filed against Apo Cement Corp., (Apo Cemex), Apo Land and Quarry Corporation (ALQC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and the Naga City Government.

Some residents and environmental groups blamed the quarry operations in the area for the landslide that has claimed the lives of at least 77 persons and injured 18 individuals.

Residents of the 170-hectare critical zone within and surrounding ground zero will also be displaced because of the geohazards in the area after the landslide.

Winley dela Fuente, a resident of South Poblacion and one of the persons spearheading the case, said they will be completing the affidavits of at least 60 affected residents on October 14.

Dela Fuente said the suit will be asking for P1 to P3-billion in moral and actual damages for the victims of the landslide.

“Although dili ko directly affected aning panghitaboa kay layo-layo man amoa, ang akong gikahadlokan is sa pagkakaron ang Sindulan ra ang ground zero pero kung magpadayon ni, kami siguro nga whole Naga mamahimo ming ground zero sa moabot pang mga kalamidad,” Dela Fuente said.

A pool of volunteer lawyers headed by Atty. Benjamin Cabrido will be handling the filing of the class suit.

Naga City Mayor Kristine Chiong, for her part, said that she welcomes the complaints and that she will answer such in a proper forum.

Chito Maniago, the representative of ALQC, said in previous interviews that they will be open to all investigations to prove that the conduct of their operation is in good faith.

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