Manila Bulletin

Palace as­sures min­ing com­pa­nies of ‘due process’


Min­ing com­pa­nies may still avail of le­gal reme­dies to con­test the or­der of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) to can­cel their con­tracts, a Palace of­fi­cial said on Wed­nes­day.

Chief pres­i­den­tial le­gal coun­sel Sal­vador Panelo said the gov­ern­ment will not “ar­bi­trar­ily” shut down min­ing op­er­a­tions, adding the con­cerned com­pa­nies will be given due process.

“They have reme­dies un­der the law. They can file a mo­tion for re­con­sid­er­a­tion, cite any er­rors that they per­ceive to be,” Panelo said in a tele­con­fer­ence at the Palace.

“And then if they are not sat­is­fied with the de­ci­sion on their mo­tion for re­con­sid­er­a­tion, they can ap­peal to the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent,” he added.

En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Regina Lopez ear­lier or­dered the can­cel­la­tion of 75 Min­eral Pro­duc­tion Shar­ing Agree­ments (MPSAs) since they were il­le­gal op­er­at­ing in the coun­try’s wa­ter­sheds. Lopez said these com­pa­nies could make an ap­peal to the Pres­i­dent or go to court.

Malacañang has backed DENR’s lat­est de­ci­sion against the min­ing op­er­a­tions, but as­sured the con­cerned firms that they will be given a chance to dis­pute the or­der.

Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Ernesto Abella said the can­cel­la­tion of the min­ing con­tracts was con­sis­tent with Repub­lic Act 7942 that min­ing ap­pli­ca­tions may not be granted to min­ing com­pa­nies which will op­er­ate near pro­claimed water­shed for­est re­serves.

“How­ever, as agreed upon in the last Cab­i­net meet­ing, the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) is to es­tab­lish that it has gone through due process be­fore en­forc­ing the ap­pli­ca­ble laws, rules, or reg­u­la­tions,” Abella said.

“The DENR is to is­sue a show cause or­der for con­cerned min­ing com­pa­nies and they will be given seven days to re­ply,” he added.

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