By NLM November 27, 2016
Seventeen individuals conducting illegal quarrying were arrested in a latest NBI – Environmental Crime Division and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region IV-A operation in Rodriguez, Rizal.
NBI identified the 17 illegal miners as Nomer Santos, Jeffrey Manahan, Rodrigo Alutaya, Jaymark Dangel, Jose Dangel, Eliseo Habla, Mario Blas, Angelito Panganiban Jr., Antonio Dapitan, Wilfredo Asuncion, Eduardo Dapitan, Eddie Tagapan, Rajohn Hermo, Peter Jason Lozada, Romar Cascayan, Roger Tablac and Juan Dapitan.
Said individuals were being monitored by the MGB IV-A due to complaints raised by Asencio-Pinzon Aggregates Corporation, MPSA holder within the areas covered by the said operation and its operator, Vulcan Materials Corp.
The said operation was by surveillance by the joint team for several weeks and was previously investigated the Mines and Geosciences Bureau IV-A which resulted in the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order against Benjamin dela Cruz, proprietor of Rathien Builders Corporation, the firm conducting the illegal quarrying in the area without valid permit or operating agreement.
Inquiry made disclosed that buyers of extracted minerals from the quarry area were not holders of any transport permits or delivery receipts issued by the DENR or PMRB. Furthermore, the aforementioned land owners were also seen transacting with the said buyers.
An estimated 72 million of tools, equipment, conveyances including the illegally-sourced minerals (basalt/andesite aggregates) were seized in the said operation.
The individuals involved are now facing charges of Violation of Section 103 (Theft of Minerals) of RA 7942.