Mayor waits for results of Patalon quarry probe PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 11:42

by Vic Larato

Mayor Beng Climaco has ordered the City Legal Office headed by former trial court judge Jesus Carbon Jr. to conduct a full investigation into a mining activity disguised as quarrying of sand and gravel materials inside the Zambo Ecozone property in Sitio Pulang Lupa, Barangay Patalon, west of this city.

“We must allow the full investigation to be conducted. This is no laughing matter and I will run after all people who are mining in the city,” Mayor Climaco declared during her weekly press briefing in City Hall yesterday.

Climaco clarified that even if she wanted people involved in the quarry turned mining activity to be incarcerated now, but “we must also give (them) due process.”

“What is clear (now) is that the city government had issued a mining permit, but during the previous administration and not during my term. Definitely, during my term I do not grant a mining permit inside the ecozone property. Documents can prove me right,” she stressed.

The chief executive said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is also probing the issue so does the City Legal Office (CLO) under judge Carbon, who was yet in Manila to represent the city in the rebellion charges against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels at the Pasig Regional Trial Court.

She emphasized the CLO investigation will include the city-issued permit and all issuances of the local government unit whether or not they are with the area of the city.

Under the permit to quarry sand and gravel material, the mayor explained, the grantees of such permit should not bring to the site heavy equipment like bulldozers; the least they can bring is shovel.

“But in the case of Patalon, bulldozers were brought to the site. It’s not just quarry but mining (minerals), destroying the city’s environment,” Climaco bewailed. “It is everybody’s responsibility to protect the environment. Each one is responsible and accountable for the protection of (our) environment,” she quipped when asked who or which office is responsible for Patalon quarry fiasco.

Climaco also minced no words in warning anybody from the city government to be terminated, citing civil service rules, if found involved in any way in the mining issue.

She was reacting to a reporter’s query if she knew of any information that certain city employees and officials were receiving money. “They should also be investigated.” — Vic Larato