Quantcast
Latest Stories

Romblon court rules against mining ban

By

The Provincial government of Romblon is gearing for a court battle after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in the island-province ruled to nullify the capitol’s ban on metallic mining in the province.

RTC Judge Ramiro Geronimo, on Jan. 17, granted the petition of Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Corp. (SNPDC) to nullify an executive order (EO) issued by Romblon Gov. Eduardo Firmalo.

The EO, issued on Jan. 10, 2011, declared an indefinite moratorium on the exploration, excavation, extraction and utilization of metallic minerals in Romblon.

The same EO paved the way for the cease and desist order that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau issued in September 2011, which stopped Altai Philippine Mining Corp. (APMC) from exploring 1,580 hectares in San Fernando town on Sibuyan island.

The SNPDC, a subsidiary of APMC, entered into a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 2009. Local officials in Romblon tagged the MPSA as another “midnight deal” of the Arroyo administration through former Environment Secretary Lito Atienza.

Church groups and environmental advocates have vigorously opposed mining on Sibuyan, also known as Asia’s Galapagos Island because of its rich flora and fauna.

Geronimo, however, declared Firmalo’s EO “unconstitutional,” since nowhere in the 1987 constitution was it stated that the government may prohibit mining activities.

The court also said the EO was “inconsistent” with national laws and that Firmalo “acted beyond his power” when he issued the executive order without a local ordinance.

Firmalo, who was on his way to Sibuyan Island on Sunday, could not be immediately contacted by phone but Provincial Board Member Felix Ylagan said the provincial government would appeal the court ruling.

“The governor said this would be a test case on the autonomy of the local government [from the national government],” Ylagan said on the sidelines of an activity of the Romblomanos in Metro Manila Association held in Cavite on Sunday.

He also said the provincial board is drafting an environmental code that includes a provision to ban open-pit mining in Romblon.

The SNDPC, in a statement e-mailed to the Inquirer, said it was looking forward to “commencing its exploration activities and employing local labor that will provide an economic boost to Sibuyan” after a halt in its operations in 2011.

“The company acknowledges that no mining would take place until a resource has been established and a full environment study has been completed with the involvement of local authorities and the community [without causing] environmental damage,” it said.

The company also noted that the area covered in the MPSA is outside Mount Guiting Guiting, which was declared a natural park on Sibuyan Island.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Altai Philippine Mining Corp. , mining issues , News , Regional Trial Court , Regions




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement