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ROUGH CUTS | Gray areas in responsibilities

A MAN who is likely frustrated in his ambition to become a race driver is now facing charges after “drifting” a car he only rented. His act, a replication of a scene in an action movie, was done in a busy road in Barangay Mahayag, Bunawan District, Davao City.

Unfortunately for him his “fast and foolish” act was filmed by a nitizen and posted on Facebook. That was when the owner of the rented car saw the act and he became “fast and furious” in his decision. He immediately sought the assistance of the Davao City Police to apprehend the daredevil driver.

The “fast and foolish” driver who claims to be a businessman from Cotabato admitted to his infraction and promised not to do it again.

Of course he would not be able to do his “fast and foolish” act again. Not only that he is facing charges and likely to be penalized for it, nobody will ever have their vehicle rented or borrowed by the person.
He can possibly do a repeat of his act if he buys his own car. After all, he can do whatever he wants to his personal property.


A “LETTER TO THE EDITOR” sent to this paper and published subsequently is very revealing. We mean, in establishing responsibility and accountability in the massive landslides in Masara, Maco, Davao de Oro that killed roughly a hundred people.

The letter writers cited Memorandum issuances by the Department of Environment and Natural Resource-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) XI some years back, and the result of a study commissioned by Apex Mining titled: “2021 Report on Economic Assessment and Ore Reserve Estimation of Maco Epithermal Gold Deposits. The study was conducted in the same year.

According to the letter, in 2008, the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences in Region XI officially classified Masara as a “NO-BUILD ZONE” since it is considered a critical area.

On the other hand, the outcome of the Apex-commissioned study emphasized the presence of a “prominent fault lineation which extends from Sandy – Masara – Bonanza and continues in a northwest direction.

The fault lineation, the study says, provides areas of vulnerability in the earth’s crust, increasing the possibility of slope instability and failure.”

In the same letter the writers claim that the MGB itself has determined that the existence of the fault lineation in Masara indicates that the region is “prone to geological hazards which elucidates the High to Very High susceptibility of the area to landslides.”

In other words both Apex Mining and the DENR-MGB knew about the condition of the areas some years back. And it is likely that the two entities had officially informed the local governments of Maco and the Province of Davao de Oro of such condition. But seemingly no one among those concerned gave significance to the finding of both the mining company and the DENR-MGB.

Apex apparently ignored the result of the study it commissioned. If we have to believe the letter writers one proof of the mining firm’s ignoring the outcome of its study is by allowing the building of a transport terminal in a site in Masara identified as very vulnerable to landslides. And on this vein the local government of Maco cannot escape responsibility because the building of the terminal definitely requires a permit from the municipal government.

On the part of the DENR-MGB, the agencies were unable to show clearly whose responsibility is it to carry out the mandate for the implementation of the “No Build Zone” order in that site in Masara. The LGU of Maco and the Province itself seem clueless as to who should have seen to it that no structure was to rise in the concerned area.

Now we suppose that this is where the Congressional probe – whether by the Senate or the House of Representatives – should focus on.

The many gray areas in the determination of responsibilities in the implementation of the MGB “NO-BUILD ZONE” mandate, and the Mining company’s ignoring the findings in the study it caused to be conducted should thoroughly be looked into by the probers.

Appropriate legislations should immediately be proposed before any similar disastrous incidents occur. But our lawmakers must also take into consideration that any move to alter nature cannot be legislated. But there are ways to mitigate the impact of nature’s wrath.



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