Court bars Apo from con­duct­ing quarry op­er­a­tions in Naga

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Ros­alie O. Abatayo COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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.

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