Court bars Apo from conducting quarry operations in Naga
A TRIAL judge on Friday ordered Apo Land and Quarry Corp. (ALQC) to stop all their quarry operations in the City of Naga, south Cebu.
Judge Dennis Larrobis of the Regional Trial Court Branch 76 issued a temporary environmental protection order (Tepo) based on a petition filed by at least 36 victims of the deadly landslide in Barangay Tinaan, a concerned citizen, and the Philippine Earth Justice System.
In his order, Larrobis said the City of Naga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office made an announcement that there were “newly found and further aggravation of the cracks in the slopes of Apo Land’s quarry sites.”
“In view of the continuing risks to life and health to the inhabitants of Naga City, Cebu, and more directly to the workers of defendant, Apo Land and Quarry Corp., the court grants the same,” he said.
The Tepo will take effect 72 hours after ALQC’s receipt of the court order.
Larrobis has set a summary hearing that will start on Nov. 14 to determine whether or not to lift the Tepo.
ALQC representative Chito Maniago said they received a copy of the Tepo at 4:58 p.m. on Friday. Maniago said there was nothing to stop for now since they had not resumed their quarry operations in their tenements in Naga City since the landslide that killed at least 70 people and buried more than 50 homes on Sept. 20.
“Hindi pa rin naman kasi nai- lift yung CDO (cease and desist order) issued by the city. Also, DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and the MGB (Mines and Geosciences Bureau) have not given us the green light to operate,” he said in a phone interview.
Maniago said they would submit a report to inform the court about the status of their operations. Last Wednesday, the complainants filed a P4.5 billion environmental class suit in court in connection with the massive landslide.
Named respondents in the case were Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc., Apo Land and Quarry Corp., Apo Cement Corp., Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-7), City Government of Naga and the Cebu provincial government.