SOME 30 individuals including three Chinese nationals and a barangay captain were arrested recently by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) here for alleged illegal quarrying in Porac town, Pampanga.
The NBI recovered heavy equipment and minerals worth P1 billion. The arrests were made during a November 28 operation led by the NBI.
The arrests were made after complaints from indigenous groups that quarry operations were able to encroach into their ancestral domains.
As for the three Chinese nationals, the NBI said they entered the country as tourists but later worked in the quarry site without the necessary permits.
The suspects will face charges for theft of minerals under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and for unauthorized and unlawful intrusion under the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act of 1997.
Also charged were a certain Anson Tanglao and Chinese national Leong Sek who were identified as owners of Tag Mineral Resources, Inc.
Ryan Clarete, said to be the captain of Barangay Manuali and manager of LAC Quarry, and the firm's purported owner/operator, Chinese national Mou Ke, were similarly tagged in a complaint.
The NBI is also investigating the incorporators and board of directors of the two companies identified in the complaint.