Board Member Cesareo Benedito Jr. wants key persons and executives of the Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) to appear before the committee on environment of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) to shed light on the reported construction of a pier in Barangay Maasin, Brooke’s Point town, which allegedly lacks required documents.
In a privilege speech he delivered during the SP regular session on Tuesday, Benedito stated that the INC has started construction of the pier despite not having clearances from concerned agencies.
“Nakarating sa akin na ito ay wala pang mga clearances o anumang dokumento para mag-start sila sa paggawa ng pier. Pero sa ngayon ay naumpisahan na ito kaya ako ay humihiling na maimbitahan yung mga concerned authorities tulad ng NCIP, yung kapitan ng Brgy. Maasin, mga executive ng Ipilan Nickel at yung sa PCSD na nag-i-issue ng SEP clearance at pati yugn DENR para naman malaman natin kung wala ba silang requirements para doon sa construction ng Pier,” Benedito said.
“Kasi pag ganyang construction, lalo na pag pier ay maselan yan. Magpagawa ka na nga lang ng bahay mo, kailangan na ng building permit yan. Ito walang SEP clearance o kung ano pa mang clearance na kailangan” he added.
The pier in question, according to a document obtained by Palawan News on May 19 and addressed to incumbent acting mayor Georjalyn Joy Quiachon, has a permit to construct issued by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on April 5.
Pursuant to this, INC started the construction of its causeway on May 12. Ipilan nickel assured Quiachon in the letter that it will abide by terms and conditions of its permit, and update it “of any causeway construction-related developments”.
Benedito, who is about to bow out as a board member, also said he wants to be clarified regarding the status of INC’s mayor’s permit once he assumes as mayor of Brooke’s Point.
He added that he will be extra cautious so as not to suffer the fate of Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano, who was suspended after the mining company filed several cases before the Ombudsman.
“Unang-una yan na rin nga yung ating kinu-kwestyon, yang mayor’s permit na yan kaya pag-uusapan naming yan ng Sangguniang Bayan at doon natin dedesisyunan kung kailangan talagang i-revoke ay ire-revoke yan. Kung mapapatunayan na talagang may kulang silang papel, siyempre naman may karapatan ang LGU, may authority na mapahinto yan,” Benedito explained.
“Titingnan naman natin yung tamang proseso, yung lahat ng legalidad at mag-iingat tayo na hindi tayo humantong doon sa masuspende tayo sa ating panunungkulan,” he added.