SC issues Writ of Kalikasan vs 5 mining firms

THE Supreme Court (SC) issued on Tuesday a Writ of Kalikasan against five mining companies, which allegedly destroys the ecosystem in Zambales and its neighboring municipalities.

In its en banc session Tuesday, the magistrates granted the petition of Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz Zamboanga (CCOS) and issued a writ of Kalikasan against five mining companies: Benguet Corporation Nickel Mines Inc. (BNMI), Eramen Minerals Incorporated (EMI), LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. (LAMI), Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation (ZDMC), and Shangfil Mining and Trading Corporation (SMTC) in connection with alleged mining practices.

The petitioners alleged that the mining companies destroy the ecosystem in Sta. Cruz, Zambales and its neighboring municipality of Candelaria, Zambales, extending up to Infanta, Pangasinan.

Also, the CCOS said that the mining activities in their municipality cause water, air and soil pollution; heavy laterite siltation of river systems, coasts, farmlands, fishponds and residential areas; forest denudation resulting in soil erosions; exacerbated flood problems during typhoons and heavy rains; and destruction of irrigation system in Sta. Cruz, Zambales, which reduced palay production.

Due to the said complaints, the Court ordered the respondents Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and others to file their respective verified return before the Court of Appeals within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt of the order.

SC spokesperson Theodore Te however clarified that the Court did not issue a temporary environmental protection order against the companies, which means that the five mining companies can still operate until further decisions of the Court. (Sunnex)
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