Mineral ore transporters await charge
REGIONAL State Prosecutor Nonnatus Caesar Rojas in a recent order reversed the earlier resolutions of dismissal by the Benguet Provincial Prosecutors Office against the suspected illegal miners apprehended in March.
“File the necessary information in court for violation of Section 53 of R.A. 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995,” ordered penned Rojas in a five page resolution.
It can be recalled on March 2, 2017, a joint checkpoint operation along Halsama Highway, Abatan, Buguias conducted by PNPBuguias and Benguet PPSC, in coordination with DENR-CENROBuguias resulted to the apprehension of a 10Wheeler Isuzu Truck loaded with mineral ore allegedly from Sagada, Mt. Province which they picked up from Sinto, Bauko, Mt. Province.
The suspects failed to show an Ore Transport Permit (OTR).
Arrested were driver Delmas Dati, a native of Binga, Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet and his helper, Jen Boado Cabutotan, a native of Tubao, La Union. The truck is bearing plate number RKL-107 is accordingly registered to Apollo D. Piluden.
Former Buguias chief of police Chief Inspector Peter Dapliyan and Buguias CENR Officer Rabindranath Quilala filed their respective complaints against the culprits but were dismissed on the ground that an ore transport permit is required only for the transport of non-processed or non-milled mineral ore.
However, it was found a transport permit is not required in this case because the truck’s cargo consisted of milled or processed ore which are considered as waste materials that have no economic value.
Quilala moved to reconsider but was denied, however, and filed a petition for review to the Regional State Prosecutor where he found refuge.
The alleged source of the ore is from an abandoned mine tailing of a previously small-scale mining
operation in Sagada, Mt. Province.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 79, abandoned tailings are supposed to be owned by the state and any extraction activities from the tailings without proper clearance from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB) is a violation.
Quilala meanwhile lauded the decision adding there is a need to intensify the Anti-Environmental Crime Operations in the community level in coordination with the various agencies to ensure the effective and efficient implementation and enforcement of environmental and mining laws in the area. CENRO Buguias Release
PLASTIC BAN. Local markets in the province of Benguet have started encouraging market goers to bring their own plastic containers or eco-bags in a bid to lessen the garbage.