ca junks environment protection plea vs zambales mining firms
MANILA, Philippines The Court of Appeals (CA) dismissed the petition filed by concerned citizens in Zambales for the issuance of a writ of kalikasan and a temporary environmental protection order (TEPO) against all mining operations in the province.
In the decision penned by Associate Justice Renato Francisco, the appellate court ruled that the closure order issued by former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Gina Lopez makes the petition moot and academic.
"With the closure of the mining operations, there can be no unlawful act or omission that may be committed by respondent mining companies that would result in actual or threatened violation of petitioners' constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology," the CA said.
According to the DENR's response to the petition, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), the joint suspension order in July 2016 put on hold the mining operations of the 5 mining companies included in the petition. The order was issued by the DENR, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Central Luzon, and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-Central Luzon.
The 15-page ruling also lifted the provisional writ of kalikasan issued by the Supreme Court (SC) in June last year. The writ of kalikasan is a legal remedy that upholds a citizen's right to a healthy environment.
The Concerned Citizens of Santa Cruz, Zambales (CCOSZ) invoked this in their petition, accusing the mining companies of violating their right to a healthy environment. They claimed that the firms' activities destroy the ecosystem in their municipality and the nearby towns from Candelaria, Zambales to Infanta, Pangasinan.
"This Court, inept with specialized knowledge and expertise of the DENR, cannot be expected to render a better resolution of the purported violation by respondent mining companies, in this present recourse for writ of kalikasan," the CA said.
"Any further proceedings in this petition may only duplicate, much worse contradict, the investigative findings of the DENR and the corresponding orders it may issue pursuant thereto. To insist otherwise would only breed more controversy on the matter," it added. Rappler.com
sc to zambales mining firms: prove you're not harming environment
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) The Supreme Court (SC) en banc on Tuesday, June 21, issued a writ of kalikasan against5 mining firms operating in Zambales, ordering them to defend themselves before the appellate court.
The High Courtfound merit in the petition filed by the residents of Santa Cruz town in Zambales, a province north of Manila. Joining them in the petition are residents of theneighboring towns Candelaria, also in Zambales, and of Infanta, which is part of Pangasinan province.
The writ of Kalikasan may be sought to deal with environmental activities that threaten to bring damage to life, health, or property of residents in at least two localities. It is a legal remedy that is supported under the 1987 Constitution.
The petitioners said mining operations have caused much destruction in the mountains, watershed, forests, farmlands, water systems and livelihood of all residents of Sta. Cruz and posed continuing threat to their lives.
In an email to Rappler on Tuesday, June 28, Benguetcorp Nickel Mines Incorporated said, "As soon as we receive the SC resolution, we will answer the allegations of siltation and other damages by presenting proof of our good environmental management."
The SC referred the complaint to the Court of Appeals, which will hear the pleadings of parties involved. It ordered the respondents to submit to the CA their verified return within 10 days upon receipt of the SC order. Rappler.com
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