Thirteen (13) individuals are now facing criminal case for violation of Section 102 (Theft of Minerals) under Republic Act 7942 or otherwise known as “Philippine Mining Act of 1995’ after they were apprehended by elements of 27th Infantry Battalion (IB) , Philippine Army (PA) last February 17 at the mountainous area of Tablu, Tampakan in South Cotabato.

The 13 were identified as Nelson Collado, Sereno Quibol, Leah Matibay, Roy General, Albert Ngoho, Lito Malayon, Joni Masamlok, Bobet Abyag Peras, Richi Jolan, Macky Labuayan, Anthony Malit and Aldrin Dayem.

In the affidavit of apprehension and seizure executed by Lt. Rollie Palino of 27th IB, PA, that while they were conducting military operations against the New People’s Army particularly in Crossing Sitio Datal Mangisi, Tablu, Tampakan, they chanced upon the group conducting illegal hydraulic mining or banlas in said area.

Seized from the group were I piece short shovel, 1 piece moil, 2 small bottles containing mercury, 1 piece bilingan and 5 pieces black pipe #2 (20-foot long each) as evidence.

Aside from the 13, 6 minors, aging from 13 to 17 years old, were likewise apprehended and turned over to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office – Tampakan. They were later released later to their respective parent after counseling and with the barangay officials requested to monitor the minors.

Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes filed the complaint on behalf of the province and assisted by Provincial Prosecutor Joseh Boyd Atensor as Inquest Prosecutor under Case Number XII-08-INQ-1TB-00080.