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Six miners were confirmed dead while one remained missing from a landslide in Agusan del Norte, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said on Thursday.

Erma Suyo, PDRRMO Agusan del Norte officer, said the incident happened in the border of Santiago and Jabonga towns in the province, in the vicinity of Mount Manpuhaw.

Suyo said her office had no idea about the landslide until a lone survivor was brought to a local hospital and related the incident.

Based on a police report, the miners were identified as Rene Gan-ungunlligan, Ramil Iligan, Casiano Iligan, Tata Salasay, Rex Pening, Jay-I Matanog and one with an alias of Gang-gang. The miners were all from Barangay Hinapuyan, Carmen in Surigao del Sur.

It was not determined, however, who the missing victim was.

Suyo said the area had been declared a "red zone" because of the increased presence of the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the lack of military and police personnel.

Based on the report of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Caraga, the miners were on their way to the mountain for supposed treasure hunting.

The mountain was accessible only by a four-wheel vehicle in four kilometers, habal-habal (motorcycle) in five kilometers, walking for 8 to 10 hours in 17 kilometers that included crossing two rivers.

Maj. Gen. Felimon Santos, commander of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command, said however, that the problem with the NPA would not affect retrieval operations.

"No problem with NPA. Troops are doing their best. They are only having a hard time because it is a landslide incident while the recovery is ongoing," Santos said.

Suyo also said civilians were taking part in the recovery of the bodies as the wife of one of the victims even hired about 20 persons to transport the bodies to Cabadbaran City.