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CA clears ex-Palawan governor over small-scale mining

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the dismissal by the Office of the Ombudsman of the charges filed against former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and several other former officials for allowing small-scale mining activities in the province.

In a decision released last week, the appellate court junked a petition filed by members of the Environmental Legal Assistance (ELA), questioning the ombudsman resolution clearing Reyes and others of violations of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt practices Act.

The CA upheld the ombudsman’s finding that the issuance of the permits to small-scale mining was made in accordance with the environmentally critical areas network (ECAN) map and strategic environmental plan (SEP) for Palawan.

It said that without a judicial decision annulling the reclassification of the ECAN Map of the municipality of Narra and the SEP clearance issued to applicant mining companies, the permits remain legal.

Reyes is currently detained for the murder of broadcaster Gerry Ortega.

Aside from Reyes, also cleared in the case were former Palawan vice governor David Ponce de Leon, former Narra mayor Lucena Demaala and several others.

ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT

COURT OF APPEALS

DAVID PONCE

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE

GERRY ORTEGA

JOEL REYES

LUCENA DEMAALA

NBSP

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

PALAWAN

REYES

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