Court issues writ of kalikasan vs Zambales mining firm
(The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2013 - 1:34pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals has issued a writ of kalikasan enjoining a mining company in Zambales and other government agencies from cutting trees and leveling a mountain in Sta. Cruz town.

In a 20-page amended ruling promulgated on Sept. 13, 2013, the CA's 4th Division through Associate Justice Danton Bueser, reconsidered and set aside its Nov. 23, 2012 ruling.

The CA granted the petition for writ of kalikasan filed by Agham party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones seeking to stop metallic ore miner LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. from further defiling the environment.

"Respondent [LAMI] is directed to permanently cease and decease from scrapping off the land formation in question of from performing any activity/ies in violation of environmental laws resulting in environmental destruction or damage[,]" the ruling said.

LAMI president Lawrence Lenio and its general manager Philip Floria, Environment Secretary Jesus Ramon Paje, PPA general manager Juan Sta. Ana, and Zambales Police Provincial Office Director Francisco Santiago, Jr. were named respondents in the case.

In his petition, Palmones alleged LAMI's personnel, with their security details armed with guns started to cut trees in Bolitoc, Sta. Cruz, Zambales.

Aside from cutting trees which serve as the natural barrier of the nearby communities from typhoons and floods, LAMI also allegedly had started leveling of mountain despite the undisputed physical evidence in the area.

It was revealed LAMI secured a prior approval of the Sangguniang Bayan of Sta. Cruz but did not conduct public consultations.

In the ruling, the CA said "[t]he respondent [LAMI] as well as the Secretary of Department of Environment and Natural Resources and/or their representatives are directed to protect, preserve, rehabilitate and/or restore the subject land formation including the plants and trees therein."

"The Secretary of DENR and/or his representative is directed to monitor strict compliance with the decision and orders of the court; and make periodic reports on a monthly basis on the execution of the final judgment," it added.

Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Amelita Tolentino and Ramon Garcia. PNA

ANGELO PALMONES ARCHIPELAGO MINERALS INC ASSOCIATE JUSTICE DANTON BUESER ASSOCIATE JUSTICES AMELITA TOLENTINO AND RAMON GARCIA COURT OF APPEALS CRUZ ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY JESUS RAMON PAJE JUAN STA LAWRENCE LENIO PHILIP FLORIA SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF STA
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