Mining firm stopped from leveling Zambales hill
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) has permanently stopped a mining firm from leveling a hill in Sta. Cruz town in Zambales in order to build a seaport.

Reversing a decision it handed down in November 2012, the appellate court issued a writ of Kalikasan against LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. (LAMI) based on a petition filed by Agham party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones.

In a decision promulgated on Sept. 13, the CA granted Palmones’ motion for reconsideration and ruled that the clearing of trees by LAMI has damaged the mountain in Barangay Bolitoc.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Danton Bueser and concurred by Associate Justices Amelita Tolentino and Ramon Garcia.

The CA took into consideration Palmones’ claims that LAMI’s building of a seaport for shipping chromite to China was not sanctioned by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Palmones said LAMI was not issued with an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). He said the clearing was undertaken without consulting the residents in surrounding towns.

The petitioner said the leveling of the hill has eradicated a strip of land that protects the town from floods.

The CA found out that the LAMI did not only level the land but scrape and remove a small mountain and used the soil to reclaim a part of an adjacent body of water to construct a seaport.

LAMI’s activity, according to the CA, is an environmental hazard not only in Zambales, but in the nearby province of Pangasinan.

Aside from the permanent cease and deceased order, the CA directed the DENR to protect, preserve, rehabilitate and restore the mountain.

AGHAM ANGELO PALMONES ARCHIPELAGO MINERALS INC ASSOCIATE JUSTICE DANTON BUESER ASSOCIATE JUSTICES AMELITA TOLENTINO AND RAMON GARCIA BARANGAY BOLITOC COURT OF APPEALS DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE PALMONES ZAMBALES
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