Boulders of rocks, sand buried alive Butuan worker in contested Mt. Mayapay

By Ben Serrano

     January 23, 2011


            BUTUAN CITY (PNA) - A construction worker who is assigned as helper to a bulldozer driver of a local construction firm maintaining a quarry in controversially contested and declared forest timber area and protected Mt. Mayapay was buried alive after boulders of rocks, sand and soil cascaded towards him almost noon Friday at Purok 8, Barangay Bonbon this city, police office here said.


            The area where there is now sand and gravel quarry is within Mt. Mayapay’s protected area and with some portions identified by MGB as one of the landslide prone areas.


But for unknown reasons even if it was government declared protected area and a timberland at that therefore can’t be titled, many lands in said area have already been titled or have been issued titled and suddenly become A and D or alienable and disposable lands


Manobo tribesmen who was given approved Ancestral Domain Title for the 15,000 hectares Mt. Mayapay are now contesting Mt. Mayapay whom they considered as “sacred mountain’ because it is their ancestral domain since time immemorial.  


Said indigenous people groups filed recently administrative charges against concerned government agencies and private individuals who entitled lands within protected Mt. Mayapay.


            Butuan City police office identified the victim as construction worker Danilo Pagudar Salado, 24, single, resident of Barangay Bon-bon, Butuan City.  


            Assigned as Bulldozer Helper, Salado was working with local construction firm AFDFIL Construction based here in Butuan City.


            Salado’s companion, bulldozer operator/driver Fresco Perater Golandrina Jr., 40, also an ADFIL Construction employee told police investigators that As Salado was busy fixing the bulldozer’s tensioner, boulders of rock, sand and soil from the hillside they were parking suddenly cascaded down with big stones hit Salado’s head and the back portion of his body that caused his instant death.


            As boulders of rocks, soil and sand cascaded down from the hill, the bulldozer driver Golandrina managed to escape and immediately reported the incident to the Adfil Construction office and to the police station.


            Rescuers immediately went to the scene and retrieved Salado’s body.


            Police claimed they are investigating the incident. (PNA/Ben Serrano)

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