Saturday, 13 October 2012

The vessel m/v Win Ever anchored at a private jetty next to Pan Century Surfactants compound

Suspicious cargo ... in sleepy baranggay Osmena on the outskirts of Mambulao, CamNorte, the coming of a vessel such as the one in picture has always been a welcome sight for the locals. Osmena is where the municipal road ends on the northern side of the municipality. In fact, it is the last populated area outside the poblacion, some four kilometers away. Once in a while, there would be vessels docking at the municipal port to bring business to the community alongside jobs for the local stevedore group, thus perking up the moods and spirits of the local people. However, a few days ago, the vessel identified as mv Win Ever, of Chinese registry, anchored at a pier privately operated by Pan Century Surfactants, Inc, stirred up allegations and suspicions from certain concerned Mambulaoans – that the Chinese vessel was trying to “steal” something in the form of earth materials that hauling trucks had taken from a quarry in Napaod, a gold mining district in Labo, CamNorte. Such materials, it has been alleged, contained gold, which Pan Century Surfactants, Inc – a manufacturer of oleo-petroleum products based in Osmena -- is trying to ship out of the country for processing overseas for their gold. If these were true, the first questions that cropped up from the local residents in Osmena: Were the vessel’s activities sanctioned by the provincial government and the Mines GeoScience Bureau (MGB), which has banned small-scale gold mining in the country? Has it a permit to conduct small-scale gold mining operations when MBG has banned even all permit issuances? Could this be a repeat of recent incident in Pulandaga, Paracale, where a Chinese-chartered vessel was loaded up with iron ore from illegal mining in Paracale worth millions of dollars, which it tried to ship out of the country on behalf of a foreign group – Chinese to be exact? – TCNAFacebookpics/text by AP HERNANDEZ

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