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.