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More than 1,000 anti-mining residents of Brooke’s Point town protested in front of the municipal hall building Tuesday morning.

Residents willingly joined the anti-mining march, which began in Barangay Calasaguen with a motorcade led by Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and farmers from other barangays in this southern Palawan town, according to Pastor Job Lagrada, one of the organizers.

He said that the invitation was simply shared on his Facebook page, but that the event drew a large throng to the town hall.

“Ang mga kasama namin ay ang mga boluntaryong mamayan, dahil walang pormal na pag-oorganisa itong aming ginawa,” Lagrada said.

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“Satisfied naman ako dahil at least lumabas ang acting mayor para pakinggan ang boses ng bayan ng Brooke’s Point. Kaya lang, wala namang iba pang sinabi si acting mayor maliban sa nakinig lamang sya at pinag-sesecure tayo ng permit,” he added.

In a separate interview with Palawan News, acting mayor Georjalyn Quiachon said she respects the move of the residents to express opposition in the mining activity in town.

“Ako naman po ay iginagalang ko ang maayos na pag-aasembelo ng mga mamayan dahil iginagalang po ‘yon ng ating konstitusyon, bilang ina, lahat ng nanay ay mahal ang mga anak,” she said.

“Pero sa akin lang, bilang ina ay gusto ko lang rin turuan din ng dapat ang mga mamayan na matutong gumalang sa mga nakaupo at sa munisipyo. Hindi natin papayagan ang mga bastusan na pagrarally. Anytime ay pupwede ko kayong i-disperse ano mang oras ay hindi ko ginawa,” Quiachon added.

She also said that the sentiments of the residents should be in the proper venue not in the form of a rally which is “disrespectful” for her.

She said she is open for a discussion to hear the complaints of the anti-mining residents against the mining companies in town.

“May tamang forum para sagutin ang mga isyo na ‘yan doon ako sa tamang sistema, hindi ‘yong ganitong bastusan, pagnagtatanong ay paparatangan ka, maayos po akong naglilingkod,” Quaichon said.

Mayoral candidate and opposition Nomie Lagan and vice mayoral aspirant Atty. Jean Feliciano also participated in the rally. (with a report from Romar Miranda)

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