Jasareno still on board, says Lopez | Inquirer News

Jasareno still on board, says Lopez

Environment Secretary Regina Lopez yesterday took exception to an Inquirer report that said Leo Jasareno, who led the audit of metallic mines in the country, had resigned.

“That is not true and you know I am for upholding the truth,” Lopez told the Inquirer.


On Sept. 28, Malacañang sent a letter to Lopez informing her that Wilfredo Moncado had been appointed to replace Jasareno as an “acting Director IV” of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

Lopez earlier this week said she wanted to meet with President Duterte to talk about this development, saying that Jasareno “has done a splendid job, with integrity and efficiency.”


“I have the highest regard for Leo,” Lopez said over the phone yesterday.

Lead an audit

In late July, Lopez announced that she had named Jasareno—who was chief of the MGB in the Aquino administration—as senior undersecretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, specifically to lead an audit of all metallic mines operating in the country.

On Aug. 1, Mario Luis Jacinto assumed office as the new head of the MGB.

On Aug. 21, Mr. Duterte said he had declared the positions of all presidential appointees of the previous administration


Following the President’s statement, Jasareno—along with similarly situated


DENR officials—tendered his resignation.

Field investigations for the mine audit wrapped up at

the end of August, with the results announced on Sept. 27

by Jasareno himself.

On Sept. 30, Lopez received the letter about Moncado replacing Jasareno.

But a Malacañang source, who was knowledgeable about the issue but wanted to remain anonymous, said Jasareno was fired and not replaced.

Glaring loopholes


The source said the Palace found glaring loopholes in the audit conducted by Jasareno, who was only a few months on the job after working mostly on the other side of the

business as  an environment


The source said Jasareno was fired due to complaints, ranging from inaction to inefficiency, from nongovernment organizations.

The source said some mining firms that should have been closed were able to get a clean bill of health from Jasareno, while some mining firms that had no problems were inexplicably shut down.

Midnight extension

The source cited in particular the midnight extension of a mining’s firm’s contract just days before the end of the Aquino administration.

The source said the Palace was also double-checking the discrepancies in Jasareno’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth based on reports that he had properties in Europe, specifically Spain and Portugal.

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TAGS: Environment Secretary Regina Lopez, Leo Jasareno, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Philippine news updates
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