SC halts Zamboanga mining | Inquirer News
Close  

SC halts Zamboanga mining

The Supreme Court has banned mining in the mineral-rich Zamboanga peninsula, favoring a petition of religious and nongovernment organizations which asked that mining be stopped due to its dangerous effects to the environment and indigenous communities.

In an en banc decision on August 16, the high tribunal issued a writ of “kalikasan,” directing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its attached agencies, particularly the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), to stop issuing mining permits and applications.

ADVERTISEMENT

MGB Director Leo Jasareno lamented the court’s issuance of the writ, saying this was a blow to the country’s mining industry.

“The writ would stop all mining applications and operations in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula. If the allegations would prove to be baseless, this would be disastrous to business and place in doubt the ability of the government to protect legitimate investments,” Jasareno said.

FEATURED STORIES

Covering 1.4 million hectares of land, or 54 percent of the total peninsula area is forest land. The place has proven reserves of gold, chromite, silver, manganese and lead.

The writ of kalikasan was promulgated by then Chief Justice Reynato Puno to give citizens and stakeholders a legal way to challenge parties that they believe are harming the environment.

According to the petitioners, the DENR and its attached agencies virtually committed grave abuse of power when they issued permits and tenements to mining firms in the region, knowing that it would harm the environment.

The petitioners stressed that the mining industry in the Zamboanga peninsula posed threats to the residents and the environment.

They maintained that many of the mining applications cover key biodiversity areas and watershed regions. These areas will be degraded by mineral extraction activities.

The mining firms in the peninsula also encroach on the ancestral lands of the Subanen tribe, they added.

The petitioners include the Philippine Earth Justice Center, Alliance to Save the Integrity of Nature, Kesalubuukan Tupusumi Organization of Subanen People, Bishop Jose R. Manguiran and several private individuals.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: environment, Environmental Politics, Government, Mining, Regions
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.