A LOCAL court in Cebu City will visit the landslide site in Barangay Tina-an, City of Naga on May 29 to determine if there is a need to issue a temporary environmental protection order (Tepo) against Apo Land and Quarry Corp. (ALQC) and other agencies.

During the continuation of the Tepo proceedings on Thursday, April 4, at the sala of Regional Trial Court Branch 23 Judge Generosa Labra, lawyer Benjamin Cabrido, who represented the landslide victims, said there was a need for the court to visit and inspect the site and see for themselves the state of the mountains that were mined out by ALQC.

“Ongoing quarrying”

“As I’ve said, we can all lie inside the courtroom, but those mountains will not lie,” Cabrido told reporters after the hearing.

The judge earlier junked Cabrido’s motion for a site visit but changed her mind after hearing both parties’ arguments.

During the hearing, lawyer Eduardo Soleng, who represented ALQC, argued that there was no need to issue a Tepo since the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had already issued a suspension order against their quarrying operations after the landslide last September.

Soleng said ALQC and its partners are implementing the Hazard Reduction Plan (HRP) to ensure that the landslide area in Barangay Tina-an has been stabilized.

But Cabrido said ALQC continues its quarry operations in the guise of implementing the HRP.

He questioned the volume of debris being hauled by ALQC on a daily basis as part of its HRP activities. He also received complaints from residents that ALQC was demolishing their houses.