Apo wants protection order denied
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - January 11, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Apo Land and Quarry Corp. (ALQC) has asked for the denial of the temporary environmental protection order (TEPO) sought by the residents affected by the landslide in Barangay Tinaan, City of Naga.

Eduardo Solieng, legal counsel of ALQC, argued there is no need for the issuance of the TEPO because three requisites needed for the order were lacking in the case.

"There is no extreme urgency, there will be no grave injustice, and irreparable injury that plaintiffs may suffer for the non-issuance of TEPO," he said.

Solieng pointed out that as of the moment no mining and quarrying activities were being done by ALQC in Tinaan because of the existing cease and desist order issued by government or regulatory agencies.

"Not just on the two, but four or five cease and desist orders issued," he added.

Benjamin Cabrido, the lead counsel of the plaintiffs, argued there was a need for the issuance of the TEPO because the regulatory agencies will lift the cease and desist orders anytime.

Once the hazard plan of the Apo Land will be complied, the cease and desist orders are set to be lifted. He asked what then will happen to the complainants.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office-7 through a solicitor general, said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary issued a cease and desist order against ALQC to stop its mining and quarry activities.

What is only allowed of ALQC to implement is their hazard plan which aims to stabilize the area.

Solieng reiterated that there is nothing to suspend by way of TEPO because as what the solicitor stated there was a cease and desist order issued.

Meanwhile, lwyer Orvi Ortega of the Cebu provincial government manifested that they will be filing an appropriate pleading seeking for the court to drop them from the complaint.

He questioned why Cebu Province was dragged into the case considering they did not issue any permits to ALQC in the exercise of its operations. Cabrido argued that Cebu Province was included in the determination of the carrying capacity of the island in terms of mining and quarrying activities.

The hearing for the TEPO will resume on February 7, 2019. (FREEMAN)

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