Diwalwal’s Never-Ending Tragedies

The series of violent incidents in Diwalwal last October – a huge fire, a gas poisoning, and a cave-in – could be part of the plot by vested-interest groups to drive small-scale miners out of Mount Diwalwal.

DIWALWAL, the Philippines — Alma Placio, 33, looked exhausted. She just had a baby. Six days after the child was born, Alma lost her husband. On this day, she was at the mining company’s small office here, sitting in a corner.

Evidently grief-stricken, Alma sits calmly as she stared blankly at the television in front of her. The TV was showing images taken days before of a rescue operation inside one of the mining tunnels here, where several died. One of those who perished was Alma’s husband, Al.

Alma was new to this place, so was Al. The lure of Mount Diwalwal, however, was no stranger to them. Earlier this year, they left their home in Manila, where they had stayed for almost two decades, and found their way into this mountain village. Al’s brother had worked here and had convinced Al that he, like him, could work here as a “helper.”

Read the full story.


Diwalwal Folk Caught in the Grip of Violence, Greed

By Daisy C. Gonzales
and Carlos H. Conde

Mt. Diwalwal is said to hold the Philippines largest gold deposit, perhaps one of the largest in the world, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Years were when a miner can earn a few thousand bucks in a day. With the new-found wealth, however, has come the problem of peace and order.

Read the full story.

comments powered by Disqus