NVizcaya court stops petition of anti-mining groups
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya (5 October) -– The Regional Trial Court (RTC) here recently dismissed the petition of anti-mining groups here who earlier sought legal action in their bid to seek cancellation of the Australian mining firm’s environmental compliance certificate (ECC) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the extraction of gold and copper deposits in the remote village of Kasibu town.
In its decision, the RTC said the petition of the environmental community-based group Didipio Earth Saver Multi-Purpose Association (DESAMA) was without basis since it clearly failed to exhaust administrative remedies against the Australasia-Philippines Mining Inc.(APMI).
It also stressed that the filing of a mandamus that seeks to cancel the ECC which covers the mining project in barangay Didipio in Kasibu town could not wait for the decision of the DENR which has the mandate to grant, revoke and suspend ECCs.
The court added that DESAMA must not only begin the necessary procedures for their petition but they must also pursue it to its conclusion before seeking judicial intervention.
The Didipio mining project which is located within the boundary of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces is a joint venture of the national government and APMI’s mother company, Climax Arimco Mining Corporation (CAMC). The project was the first large scale venture granted with ECC since the enactment of of the Mining Act of 1995.
The 15-year project is expected to generate at least P30 billion in revenues for the national government and millions of pesos for the host local government units through local taxes.
Earlier, DESAMA, backed by church officials led by Bishop Ramon Villena of the diocese here filed their petition before the RTC here, asking for the suspension of its operations for the company’s alleged failure in obtaining approval from the affected villagers. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]