The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) XII conducted a joint operation on the seizure and closure of an illegal mining activity in Sitio Langguay, Barangay Don Panaca, Magpet, Province of Cotabato.
On March 2, 2021, a Cease-and-Desist Order was implemented in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) XII Regional (Enforcement Division). Provincial (DENR-PENRO Cotabato) and Community (DENR-CENRO Matalam) offices, Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) of Don Panaca, and the 72nd Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Armed of the Philippines (AFP).
On site, the 5-meter tunnel was covered with timber and nails while a total of 9 sacks containing ore were already in the custody of MENR Office of LGU Magpet after being handed over by Barangay Chairman Melecio Dulangan of BLGU Don Panaca. The remaining sacks were buried inside the tunnel during demolition and collapse of the structure.
The implementation of the Cease-and-Desist Order rooted after a joint investigation of the aforementioned agencies was conducted in December 2020 in response to complaints from the residents of Barangay Don Panaca about the illegal mining activity in their area. The illegal operation violated RA 7942, otherwise known as the “Philippine Mining Act of 1995” and its IRR and RA 7076, otherwise known as the “People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991.”