SC asked to stop mining in Zambales town

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

MANILA -- A party-list group asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday to halt the mining of metallic ore in Zambales due to alleged danger to the community.

Agham president Angelo Palmones accused DMCI Holdings, Inc. and DMCI Mining of leveling a mountain in the province’s Sta. Cruz town using earthmoving machines to create a man-made foreshore for specific use as port for their mining operations.

The mountain is located near the sea and the property owned by the DMCI in Bolitoc village, Sta Cruz.

In a petition for writ of kalikasan, Agham said the project has been ongoing despite protests from residents of the province. The group said the mining firm dumps the soil from the scrapped mountain into the waters off the town to form the port.

Agham noted that the mountain serves as natural protective barrier of the residents of Zambales and that of the nearby towns of Pangasinan from typhoons and sea surges, which killed more than 6,000 people in the Visayas at the height of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last month.

‪"Once these natural resources are damaged, the residents of these two provinces will be virtually defenseless and their life, health and properties will be at the constant risk of being lost," the petition stated.

Aside from issuing a temporary environmental protection order (Tepo), the group urged the Court to order DMCI to restore the mountain’s old form and stop the cutting of trees and leveling the land formation.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Environment Management Bureau (EMB) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) were also named as respondents in the petition. (Sunnex)

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