CA stops mining firm from leveling Zambales mountain
MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals permanently stopped the leveling of a mountain by a Chinese mining company in Zambales.
The court's Fourth Division issued a writ of kalikasan, stopping Chinese miner LNL Archipelago Minerals from leveling a mountain in Barangay Bolitoc, Sta. Cruz. LNL Archipelago is building a seaport for the shipping of chromite-rich soil to China.
The decision, penned by Associate Justice Danton Bueser, took into consideration the claim of Agham Party List Rep. Angelo Palmones that the company did not secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Palmones argued that the leveling has serious impact on the ecological balance of the affected towns and was undertaken without consultations with residents.
He said the mountain serves as protective barrier against floods.
In its ruling, the CA said LNL Archipelago wasn't just leveling the mountain, it was also reclaiming a portion of adjacent waters.
"LNL’s pretense that it is only constructing a causeway does not inspire belief as it actually scraped off or cut a land formation and, with the earth taken therefrom, it filled up the adjacent waters to pave the way for the construction of a seaport," the court said.
The CA also cited the geo-hazard map of Region III, which revealed that coastal portions of the “Sta. Cruz Quandrangle-Zambales and Pangasinan provinces” are now highly susceptible to landslide and flooding.
The CA directed the DENR to "protect, preserve, rehabilitate and restore the land formation," monitor strict compliance with its decision and orders, and make a monthly report on the execution of the final judgment. – Rappler.com