Penro mulls filing case vs lot owner of collapsed tunnel
SIBULAN, NEGROS ORIENTAL–The Negros Oriental Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) is mulling to file charges against the owner of the property where a tunnel collapsed and buried three miners at Barangay Booc-booc in Sibulan town, Negros Oriental on Wednesday, January 2.
PENRO chief, Nestor Canda, said that results of their parallel investigations revealed that the miners were not mining for gold but were looking for buried treasures.
According to Canda, Cristina Singh, the property owner, allegedly promised the three miners that if they find treasures in the tunnel, they can keep 75 percent of the find.
The project has been going on since November and the team of four men were able to dig a tunnel of up to 27 feet deep and spanning 13 meters.
The three buried miners were identified as Bobby Baldado, 32, Algie Javier, 28, and Feliciano Insilay, 61. They are yet to be found.
A fourth member of their team, Mauro Alforque, 44, survived as he was buried only up to the chest.
Canda told Cebu Daily News Digital that the Barangay Chief of Booc-booc, Jone Garcia, has given the permission to Singh to dig the grounds of her property for water.
However, PENRO investigators said that a well can only be dug vertically but the tunnel was dug vertically then horizontally.
“Forget about digging for water. The tunnel was made to dig for something else,” said Canda.
Canda said that Singh had no permits to mine her backyard or even to look for treasure, both of which require the approval of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas (MGB-7).
“We will be consulting our legal team as to what charges we can file against her,” said Canda.
As of 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 3, the Sibulan Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office (MDRRMO) is yet to retrieve any of the buried miners. /Delta Dyrecka Letigio /rcg
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