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Safekeeping of the abandoned marbles, not illegal
By: PPAO
Friday, 11 February 2011
CITY OF MALOLOS- Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB) has violated no laws in the hauling of abandoned blocks of tea rose marbles from Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel to the Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO) compound, Brgy. Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan for safekeeping and upholding of public safety.

“The allegations of the complainant that I abused my authority when the smuggled marble blocks dumped and abandoned in San Miguel were transferred for safekeeping at the PEO compound on October 20-21, 2010 is without merit,” said Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado.

In his counter-affidavit, he stressed that the transfer was a valid and lawful exercise of police power and pursuant to Local Government Code Section 465 and 16 which allows the local chief executive to exercise such powers to promote health and safety and to avoid incidents that will threaten the lives and properties of the people.

Gov. Alvarado also pointed out that there’s no need to secure an Ore Transport Permit (OTP) to haul the abandoned marble blocks as stated in DENR Administrative Order No. 96-40 Series of 1996: Revised Implementing Rules and Regulation of The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 which states that only permit holders, contractors, accredited traders, retailers, processors and other mining rights holders are required to get OTP from the regional director of DENR.

“The transfer of marbles to PEO by the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) does not require the securing from the DENR of an OTP. Needless to say, the BENRO is not in any manner engaged in mining activity,” Gov. Alvarado emphasized.

Moreover, before hauling the marbles, the PGB through BENRO had properly coordinated with the DENR regarding the issue of OTP wherein DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Elizardo Alberto in his letter dated October 8, 2010 stated that there is no need for an OTP considering that the marbles were abandoned and there was no way to determine its ownership.

Gov. Alvarado also attested that everything was properly documented and accounted wherein an inspection team composed of representatives from PENRO, BENRO, PNP, media and several NGOs participated in the investigation and inspection.
Atty. Rustico de Belen, head of BENRO, reported that the smuggled and illegally extracted marble blocks were dumped for more than two years along the streets and rivers posing great hazards to motorists and residents.

“The transfer of the abandoned marbles to protect the life and property of the public and to ensure public safety is in accordance with the faithful and orderly execution of the law,” Atty. De Belen added.

Gov. Alvarado said that the complaint is without factual and legal basis and only designed to disrupt PGB’s efforts to protect the environment.

In spite of this, he is still very determined to enforce and implement all the laws, rules and regulations to the fullest, ensuring a balanced and beautiful ecology while promoting the general welfare of the people.###

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