LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Baguio Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr. is now facing criminal charges for violations against the Philippine Forestry Code.
Benguet Prosecutor William Bacoling said the case was filed on June 6 by Octavio Cuanso, acting Benguet Provincial Environment and Natural Resources officer, on behalf of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cordillera Administrative Region.
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, as all were found violating provisions of the environmental law.
Bacoling said the subpoenas will be received by Aliping as well as three other respondents, William Go, president of Goldrich Construction; Romeo Aquino of RU Aquino Construction Development Corp., and Bernard Capuyan, managing officer of BLC Construction and Aggregates.
Aliping and the three other respondents were slapped with violations on cutting, removing, gathering or collecting timber from a forest reservation, and unlawful occupation and destruction of forest and grazing lands.
Bacoling said the Benguet Prosecutor's Office is awaiting formal counter affidavits from the respondents 10 days upon receipt of the subpoena, after which, the Prosecutor's Office will decide the merits of the case if to be elevated to the courts.
Bacoling said there will be a decision in less than a month if the case will be heard in the courts.
Aliping, as well as the three respondents, will have to post bail to gain temporary freedom.
Last week the DENR served a Cease and Desist order to Aliping, directing him to stop earth moving activities at Mt. Kabuyao as well as the road construction in the area.
The DENR said the road construction under the Aliping claimed property is within an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA). Aliping has also been found operating without an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).
Bacoling said there could possibly be more charges filed against Aliping.
Sun.Star Baguio tried to get the statement of Aliping, but as of press time there has been no official statement on the issue.