The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- Lawmakers, local government officials and leaders of nongovernmental organizations on Friday asked the Supreme Court to issue a Writ of Kalikasan or Temporary Protection Order to stop operations of Altamina Explorations and Resources Inc. in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Pangasinan for allegedly posing a danger to the environment and the livelihood of the people in these areas.
The petitioners said mining operations “continue to bring hazardous effects to the peoples’ and communities’ health and safety,” highlighting the need for government to step in.
Altamina secured two exploration permits as well as a Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement signed June 29, 2010, a day before President Benigno Aquino III assumed office, allowing it to undertake onshore and offshore operations over 9,588.23 hectares in the three provinces to extract magnetite sand and associated minerals.
However, the petition said several resolutions have been passed at the city, municipal and barangay levels underscoring residents’ concerns about the impact of mining in their areas.
Among the concerns raised in the petition were the following:
The petitioners include Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Representatives Teddy Casino, Raymond Palatino, Luz Ilagan, Emmie de Jesus, Jeremy Jesus Bueno III and Leonofre Gironella.
The Writ of Kalikasan is based on Article II, Section 16 on the Declaration of Principles and State Policies of the 1987 Constitution, which states “the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”
It may be availed of individually and cumulatively, and may include the issuance of a Temporary Environmental Protection Order in cases when there is an extreme urgency and/or the applicant may suffer grave injustice or irreparable injury.
It aims to protect the rights of persons whose constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology is violated, or threatened with violation that may involve an environmental damage of such magnitude as to prejudice the life, health or property of inhabitants in two or more cities of provinces.