THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ordered Baguio Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr. to stop all works in his alleged property in Mt. Sto. Tomas.
In an order issued by DENR OIC regional director Oscar Cabanayan, Aliping has been directed to "cease and desist from further earth moving activities and road construction until such time that the matter has been resolved."
"It has come to the attention of the DENR Environmental Management Bureau that a new road construction has been undertaken in Mount Santo Tomas without undergoing EIA process as required under PD 1586 also known as the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System," Cabanayan said.
Aliping, if found in violation of provisions of PD 1586, establishing an environmental impact statement system, including other environmental management related measures, maybe slapped with a penalty of P50,000 and stoppage of the project, development or operation of the project.
"We wish to inform you that the location of your project is considered an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA) as defined in proclamation 2146 PD 1586 which established the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System under Section 4 'No person, partnership or corporation or government shall undertake or operate any in part such declared ECP or project under ECA without first securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)'," Cabanayan said in the order.
Along with Aliping, contractors of the project, BLC Construction and Aggregates, RUA construction and Development Corporation and Goldrich Construction were served the order June 2.
In a statement furnished by Aliping's communication team, the embattled congressman said, "We have the proper agency to conduct verifications and recommendations, we can wait for it. Pinpointing is not the same as the culprit; everybody is entitled to due process."
The area of contention is allegedly part of the properties of Aliping's family where construction for a mountain top resort is impending.
Reportedly, there have been 300 trees already cut in the area, as well as bulldozing and backhoe activities, which have made the soil unstable, making it susceptible to landslides especially during the rainy season.
Tuba Mayor Florencio Bentres has previously issued a Cease and Desist order addressed to Aliping ordering to stop all earthmoving activities within watershed area.