The local government of Brooke’s Point is set to file a separate criminal case against Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) for its alleged illegal mining operations, Brooke’s Point mayor Mary Jean Feliciano told Palawan News.
This, following the issuance Monday of a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (Tepo) by the Palawan Regional Trial Court which acted on an earlier complaint filed by indigenous community leaders and farmers from Brooke’s Point.
Feliciano said that aside from focusing on the extension of TEPO which is set to be heard on August 10-11 at Regional Trial Court Branch 165, they will file another case aside from the previously filed by the DENR.
“Kasi yun, dalawa lang eh sa Forestry Code at saka sa Chainsaw Act, saka naka-focus lang sa mga officials ng company. Gusto ko isama lahat, halimbawa yung sa security [personnell]. Mas malawak scope, pero mas specific din,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mines and Geoscience Bureau Regional Director Roland de Jesus said they will refer the recent decision of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) canceling the company’s SEP clearance to the DENR.
The PCSD also approved a resolution asking the DENR not to renew the mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) of INC which is due to expire next year.
“I will forward it sa central office, sila kasi nag-iisue ng MPSA. We cannot say kung ano yung gagawin nilang evaluation sa itaas,” de Jesus told reporters during a mining forum in Puerto Princesa City Wednesday.
He also said that he still does not have copy of the TEPO issued by the Court against Ipilan.
RTC Branch 165 Judge Ramon Chito Mendoza issued TEPO on Monday ordering INC to cease and desist from clear cutting of trees, road widening and other mining activities in Barangays Maasin and Ipilan.
The court also ordered INC to undertake initial rehabilitation measures and restoration of the destroyed forest areas.