Group vows to pursue case-A A +A
Monday, March 11, 2013
ENVIRONMENTAL group Bangon Kagay-an Inc. vowed to pursue with the hearing of the petition in June 19 after the failed mediation for a temporary environmental protection order (Tepo) at the Court of Appeals (CA) on Monday.
Lawyer Evangeline Carrasco, legal counsel of the petitioners, said the respondents -- the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the City Government of Cagayan de Oro and five other mining companies -- did not agree on their proposals.
Carrasco said among their proposals are the issue on transparency with regards to the fees collected from quarrying permits and an inventory of the barge that got stuck at the Bulao bridge in Barangay Iponan in December 2012.
It was learned that the barge, which was washed away at the height of Typhoon Pablo, was “seized and chopped.”
Carrasco said they will be pursuing with the hearing of the Tepo as the counsels of DENR refused to agree on their proposal, saying “it will tarnish the image of Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.”
“Their common answer is ‘they have been doing their jobs’,” she said.
The CA has deferred the issuance of TEPO during its March 1 hearing pending the meeting of both parties at the court’s mediation to come together for a unified solution to the mining problem along Iponan River.
Associate Justice Renato Francisco of the Special Twenty Second Division recommended to both parties the need to have a “mediation in the hope that there is a solution to the problem.”
Francisco said everybody is for ecological balance hence the need for both parties to talk and cooperate with each other in protecting the environment.
The respondents earlier opposed to the issuance of TEPO, citing there is no need for this since the petitioners and public respondents have already forged a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the protection of Iponan River Watershed a day prior to the scheduled hearing at the CA.
But Carrasco openly rejected it.
“Dili ko kasabot sa ilang gisulti nga wala nila pasagdi ang kinaiyahan pero mi-object sila sa Tepo,” she earlier told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
She said the respondents seemed not to understand the Writ of Kalikasan, the objective is only to declare the “area environmentally protected.”
The CA earlier issued two writs against the City government of Cagayan de Oro, the City Council, the DENR, MGB and five mining companies for “continuing environmental destruction in the hinterland barangays of Cagayan de Oro.”
The writ of Kalikasan was signed by Associate Justices Renato Francisco, Oscar V. Badelles and Henri Jean Paul B. Inting after finding the petition filed by BK sufficient in form and substance.
The CA also issued the Writ of Continuing Mandamus against the same respondents.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 12, 2013.