DAET: “Political suicide.”
|Governor Edgardo A Tallado|
This was the reason given by CamNorte Gov Edgardo A Tallado for his and the local police’s failure to stop small-scale mining in the province.
Tallado, a first-term governor who ran and won under the Liberal Party (LP) ticket, expressed his sentiments following the relief of Senior Supt Joselito Esquivel as provincial police director for failing to stop illegal mining in CamNorte Norte.
Tallado said no governor in CamNorte has ever tried to stop small-scale mining in the gold-rich province because more than 10,000 families depend on it.
Tallado said he could earn the wrath of small-scale miners if he stopped mining without offering any alternative.
It would be political suicide for him to heed an order by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to stop small-scale mining in the province, said Tallado.
“Who will feed them (small-scale miners and their families) if they lose their livelihood?” Tallado asked.
He said he has not received an official order from Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo or from the DENR to stop small-scale mining in Camarines Norte.
He said he does not benefit from illegal mining or from the involvement of police officers in illegal mining.
Robredo told reporters in Manila that Esquivel and two other provincial police officers - Supt Lito Andaya, chief of intelligence division, and Supt Godofredo
Tul-o, chief of operations division - were relieved for allowing the sale of explosives for use in small-scale mining operations.
Tallado said he was saddened by the sudden relief of Esquivel, as “it happened without due process”.
The governor said he did not even know of Esquivel’s relief until recently.
Capinpin said the order to relieve Esquivel came from the PNP main headquarters in Camp Crame but was unaware of the basis for Esquivel’s relief.
He said Esquivel, who declined to be interviewed, would be temporarily assigned to the police regional office in Legazpi City. - Inquirer