News Briefs: March 21, 2019
Arroyo urges friendlier government stance on mining
Congress “should not have an adversarial stance” toward mining, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo told industry leaders on Tuesday, in a major departure from President Duterte’s stance on the sector.
Instead, the legislature should help the mining industry and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to come up with mechanisms to boost government revenue from the sector, the former President said in a forum organized by the Philippine Nickel Industry Association in Taguig City.
Arroyo noted that the mining sector grew even during the presidency of her successor, Benigno Aquino III, who had wanted to ban mining.
“I have said earlier that even under my successor, who was very strict about mining, the sector even grew compared to my time, and [that is] what we want to do now,” she said.
“My successor was against mining and apparently wanted to ban it but his executive secretary, I’ve [been] told … pointed out that there was no legal basis for a ban,” Arroyo said. —DJ Yap
Cases filed vs 6 mayors for failing to set up antidrug councils
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday filed administrative cases in the Office of the Ombudsman against six town mayors for dereliction of duty.
Assistant Interior Secretary Ricojudge Echiverri said the mayors failed to set up antidrug abuse councils despite “numerous DILG memorandums and Dangerous Drugs Board regulations issued.”
The mayors are Josephine Cruz of Donsol, Sorsogon; Gybel Cardenas of Bucloc, Abra; Geraldo Luglug of Hingyon, Ifugao; Froilan Andueza of Claveria, Masbate; Kristine Hao-Kho of Mandaon, Masbate; and Demosthenes Arabaca of Magallanes, Agusan del Norte.
Echiverri said the mayors faced suspension or removal from office or a reprimand from the Ombudsman. —Patricia Denies M. Chiu
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