Manila Times - - Regions - DEX­TER A. SEE

ITOGON, Benguet: Po­lice ar­rested 16 pocket min­ers who al­legedly vi­o­lated the cease and de­sist or­der is­sued by En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Roy Ci­matu that tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended all small-scale min­ing op­er­a­tions in the Cordillera and the con­di­tions of the tem­po­rary per­mit is­sued by the Pro­vin­cial Min­ing Reg­u­la­tory Board (PMRB) for the pro­cess­ing of their stock­piled ore. Se­nior Insp. He­herson Zam­bale, Itogon Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice Sta­tion chief, said 14 were found vi­o­lat­ing the ex­ist­ing cease and de­sist or­der while two oth­ers were held for pro­cess­ing their ore us­ing the pro­hib­ited car­bon in pulp. Charges for vi­o­la­tion of the Philip­pine Min­ing Act of 1995, the Peo­ples Small-Scale Min­ing Act and the Philip­pine En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact As­sess­ment Sys­tem were al­ready filed against the ar­rested min­ers. Zam­bale ex­pressed grat­i­tude to pocket min­ers who are com­ply­ing with the con­di­tions of the PMRB tem­po­rary per­mits while there are a few who try to test the abil­ity of law en­forcers in go­ing af­ter them. He said pocket min­ers should show to the gov­ern­ment their sin­cer­ity in com­ply­ing with the con­di­tions be­cause it will serve as a ba­sis for the of­fi­cials to de­cide on whether or not to grant pos­si­ble ex­ten­sion to the 30- day grace pe­riod granted to process their stock­piled ore.

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