The Manila Times

CA junks Koko’s petition for Writ of Kalikasan against mining firm


THE Court of Appeals ( CA) junked Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd’s petition for Writ of Kalikasan against a large- scale mining firm operating in the provinces of Pangasinan and Ilocos.

In a 22- page resolution penned by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon, the appellate court’s former eight Division denied for lack of merit the petition filed by Pimentel, Rep. Raymond Palatino of Kabataan party- list, Mayor Jose Jesus Bueno of Santa, Ilocos Sur and other concerned citizens from Ilocos Sur against Altamina Exploratio­n and Resources Inc.

The case stemmed from the group’s allegation that on June 30, 2010, the previous administra­tion forged a mining deal with Altamina a day before President Benigno Aquino 3rd assumed the presidency.

The group claimed that the mining operations, which meant to extract magnetite ore, pose threat to the residents living near the offshore areas of the Ilocos-Pangasinan coastline.

A Writ of Kalikasan is a legal remedy providing protection to one’s right to “a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.” The writ is provided under Section 16, Article 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constituti­on.

The group also contended that the 1987 Constituti­on does not allow then Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza to sign a Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) on behalf of former president and now Rep. Gloria Macapaga-Arroyo of Pampanga province.

Their petition was originally filed with the Supreme Court seeking to cancel the FTAA and ordering the rehabilita­tion of damages caused by the mining operations, but the High Court remanded the case to the appellate tribunal.

The Appeals Court ruled that “the prerogativ­e of the state to enter into mineral agreements or FTAA’s emanate from the constituti­onal grant of the power to explore, develop and utilize its natural resources ” and “Altamina did not violate the provisions on prior consultati­on under the law.”

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