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  • By: Arjay Barrios, LRC Paralegal

Mine-shattered Life in Marinduque

In the culturally-rich province of Marinduque, we will find Gorgonio “Uncle Ugor” Licon, 77 years old, a former Barangay Kagawad (Councilor), a father, and a loving husband. He was born in 1939 and has resided in barangay Magapua since then. As he narrated his story, he sorrowfully remembered that day, at around 3 o’clock in the morning of December 6, 1993, when the entire community was shocked to find high volumes of water immediately flooding their home. It was the first time in his life to experience flooding of silted water of around two meters high, which destroyed his personal property and also his livelihood. He mentioned that the damages sustained were allegedly caused by the collapse of some parts of Maguila-guila Dam which is owned and operated by Marcopper Mining Company Inc. resulting from an overwhelming release of water aggravated by typhoon Monang (international name: Lola).

He and his family barely survived on the modest honorarium he received monthly from their barangay during his term as Kagawad. Though quite small, he has no option but to make both ends meet and prioritize their urgent needs. As he stated, “For now, what I want Marcopper to do is to compensate us on all the sustained damages, as well as to rehabilitate the once-pristine river of Mogpog. So that despite of our traumatic experience, we can now slowly pick-up the shattered pieces of our lives”.

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