I2 DENR1 apprehended 12 trucks loaded with ill-extracted mineral ores
DENR1 Apprehended 12 trucks loaded with ill-extracted mineral ores
DASOL, Pangasinan – DENR 1 Task Force swooped down and intercepted twelve ten wheeler trucks loaded with illegally extracted mineral ores here yesterday afternoon.
Backed up by local police here headed by Police Sr. Insp. Dennis Cabigat, the Task Force led by regional director Paquito T. Moreno, Jr. intercepted the trucks at barangay Poblacion while on their way to barangay Barlo.
Cabigat said the truck drivers immediately stopped and made no resistance when they were flagged down by policemen who were then simultaneously conducting operation “tokhang.”
Recently, DENR, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines signed a memorandum of agreement joining their forces to combat environmental crimes.
One of the drivers, who requested not to be named, said that they would be paid one thousand pesos after delivering the mineral ores to a processing plant in Dasol, Pangasinan.
Municipal mayor Eric Versoza hailed the DENR Task Force for apprehending the twelve trucks saying that “these heavy trucks have been causing destruction of (our) municipal roads.”
Moreno revealed that the mineral ores with a total volume of 3,000 metric tons were extracted from Cordon, Isabela and transported to barangay Barlo here for processing.
The ore transport permit (OTP), dated August 24, 2016 and to expire on September 23, 2016, bears the signatures of Noel Manuel Lopez, provincial administrator of Isabela and Geronimo Cabbacan, Jr., environment and natural resources officer.
Emerging from the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board Office of Isabela, the OTP has been issued in favor of Golden Summit Mining Corporation.
But Moreno claimed that the OTP is spurious saying that Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region 2 Director Mario Ancheta informed that “all small scale mining operations in the Province of Isabela have been suspended.”
Moreno said DENR personnel have been dispatched to coordinate with the provincial government of Isabela to verify the veracity of the OTP.
Meanwhile, Renato Rimando, Engineer 5 of MGB Region 1, said the OTP appears valid on its face but there is inconsistency between the commodity indicated in the document and the actual contents of the apprehended trucks.
“Assuming that the OTP is valid, the commodity therein indicated is mine tailings and waste materials but upon random grab sampling, we discovered that the trucks are loaded with freshly broken mineralized rocks and ores,” said Rimando.
Rimando said the permittee committed “misdeclaration” of commodity impelling the apprehension of the trucks loaded with mineral ores.
MGB Region 1 headed by officer-in-charge regional director Carlos Tayag seized and took custody of the twelve trucks which, at present, are placed under the watch of the Dasol Police Office for safekeeping.
On Monday (September 5), confiscation hearing will be conducted to determine whether the mineral ores including the tolls, equipment and the twelve trucks will be confiscated in favor of the government.
Meanwhile, criminal charges for theft of minerals are to be filed against the officers of Golden Summit Mining Corp. along with the truck drivers and helpers with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Pangasinan.