The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) on Friday appealed to people reportedly searching for gold in the rubble of the landslide in Maco, Davao de Oro to stop.
OCD spokesperson Edgar Posadas pointed out that the search, rescue, and retrieval operation for the 110 people missing in the landslide is more important than hunting for gold.
“Kami na po ang nakikiusap, huwag na po nating gawin iyan ngayon kasi may mas importante tayong kailangan ma-accomplish,” he told Balitanghali in an interview.
(We are appealing to you, don’t do that now because we have something more important to accomplish.)
“Time is of the essence. At makiisa naman po tayo doon sa mga efforts ng mga tao particularly those who are putting their lives on the line po para makahanap sana ng buhay pa or kung hindi naman po mahanap natin iyong mga labi para po maibalik sa kanilang pamilya,” he added.
(Time is of the essence. And let’s support the personnel who are putting their lives on the line to rescue survivors or recover the remains of the victims so they can be returned to their families.)
In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, Ednar Dayanghirang, OCD Region XI drector, said that people rushed to a nearby river to search for gold.
“Andaming gold galing sa bukid, na-wash out,” he said.
Earlier in the morning, a girl aged around 4 to 5 years old was found alive in the rubble two days after the landslide, Posadas said.
The landslide on Tuesday night struck a garage of a bus company, a barangay hall, and residential areas at Zone 1 Barangay Masara in Maco town.