16 POCKET MINERS NABBED IN BENGUET
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.