MANILA, Nov. 26, 2012?Greed kills.
The fatal accident that claimed the lives of three miners in mineral-rich Camarines Norte is but a product of greed, according to Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera.
He said “some unscrupulous people” motivated by greed take advantage of the poverty of ordinary people and fortune seekers who are enticed to become miners with little concern for their safety.
“These happen in spite of warnings against unregulated mining and the use of illegal means, people persist in their dangerous practices as they expose the miners’ lives and limbs to greater danger,” he went on to add.
Garcera said businessmen and financiers “put more value on material and financial gain over the well-being and safety of miners.”
The situation will only grow worse and more tragedies are bound to happen, unless something is done, Garcera added.
At least three miners were killed when a tunnel collapsed in a mining site in Barangay Palanas, Paracale on November 20 at about 5 p.m.
In a pastoral statement read in all Sunday Masses in time for the Solemnity of Christ the King, Garcera lamented how lives are put at risk and sometimes lost, all in search of the glitter of gold.
The prelate said everyone is called to be responsible stewards of the earth’s treasures and resources that God has given, even as he called on the Catholic faithful to pray for those who died and victims’ nearest of kin.
Paracale, the town’s name is identical with mining, Garcera said. Literally translated into English, the name Paracale simply means ‘canal digger’, a prime requirement in mining.
Paracale is so rich that even before the Spaniards came into the area during the 16th century, mining was already its primary source of livelihood.
“The gold mines of Paracale have been the source of her fame and fortune,” Garcera said.
Meanwhile, Fr. Edwin Visda, Daet’s Social Action Center director said only three miners were killed in the incident contrary to earlier media reports which had higher figures. (Melo M. Acuna/CBCPNews)