Representatives from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) IV CALABARZON, together with those from the National Bureau of Investigation – Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD), apprehended nine (9) individuals due to illegal mining within Brgy. Pinagsanhan B, Maragondon, Cavite on July 23, 2019. This was done after several investigations conducted by the MGB IV and other government agencies concluding that there was illegal extraction of filling materials, sand and gravel in the said area. With this, the offenders were charged with committing Theft of Minerals as stipulated in Section 103 of R.A. 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
The Philippine Mining Act of 1995, the main legal framework of the mining industry, declares that the state owns all mineral resources in public and private lands within the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of the Philippines. Therefore, the state holds both rights to grant permits for a contractor to be able to mine a certain area, and to revoke, suspend or cancel permits should the contractor violate the said law. As the main agency responsible for the conservation, management, and development of the country’s mineral resources, MGB is obligated to monitor permitted areas, and apprehend those said violators then confiscate/seize illegally sourced minerals, mineral products and paraphernalia such as equipment, tools and conveyances used for the commission of the illegal activity.
An earlier field verification was conducted on February 11, 2019 by an MGB Embedded Technical Personnel due to alleged illegal mining outside the permitted quarry area in Maragondon, Cavite. Its findings confirmed the allegation which led to the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) on March 4, 2019. On July 12, 2019, due to further claims of the respondent’s continued illegal mining, the MGB asked for assistance from the NBI to implement the CDO, presenting the following additional information:
- The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Regional Office No. IV already ordered the cancellation of the respondent’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) on April 12, 2019; and,
- Pursuant to Section 100 of D.A.O. 2010-21, otherwise known as the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 7942, the MGB recommended the Provincial Governor of Cavite to also cancel the respondent’s Quarry Permit on May 27, 2019.
The final investigation conducted on July 23, 2019 confirmed that the respondent along with other individuals were continuing their quarry operations despite the issuance of the CDO. Indeed, the said operation was located 810.97 meters away from the respondent’s permitted area.
Furthermore, following the standard procedure of apprehension, the seized minerals, tools, equipment and conveyances used in the commission of the offense were properly inventoried, photographed and turned over to the custody of the Brgy. Kagawad of Pinagsanhan B, Marogondon, Cavite. The apprehended individuals were brought to the office of National Bureau of Investigation – Environmental Crime Division, Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila for booking, fingerprinting, medical/physical examination and photographs as standard operating procedure. On July 24, 2019, a Joint-Judicial Affidavit of Arrest was submitted before the Prosecutor General, Department of Justice (DOJ) – Manila, for resolution.
Photo No. 1. Area (1) Located near one backhoe and mobile crusher.
Photo No. 2. Area (2) Located near two backhoes near the face of the quarry.
Photo No. 3. Area (3) Near the entrance gate of the operation.
by: Engr. Patrizia S. Benedicto | 2 August 2019