Illegal Quarry Operations in Bohol?

Legitimate illegal quarry operations or transport apprehension should be done at least with the presence of a deputized agent of the country’s environment secretary if the proper mining authority is absent.

Mines and GeoSciences Bureau –7 officer in charge Regional Director Roger de Dios stressed this to town mayors and local authorities attending the recent Stakeholder’s Forum for local chief executives given by the Regonal Minerals Development Council Thursday.

But that does not tie the enforcer’s hands because even without a deputized agent, they can stop the operations, identify the persons involved, gather data including the trucks plate numbers, driver and openly letting the illegal operators that the mayors know of the illegal operations.

Without a deputized agent to enforce the applicable mining laws, de Dios stressed that local chief executives can initiate moves to stop the operations, gather documentary evidence and report it to the local environment authorities.

These documents then should be forwarded to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) who would be sending in the right persons to investigate and apprehend.

The statement also surfaced amid unconfirmed reports that agents of the National Bureau of Investigation stepped on the toes of local officials when they raided a manganese quarry.

They allegedly did not coordinate with Capitol and its enforcement team; Task Force Kabukiran.

The sad thing, none of the NBI raiding team had a deputation order from the environment secretary, as what the law mandate.

In fact, another source asked why the NBI is apprehending when they would have been investigating and leave the apprehension to authorities.

He remarked that apprehending and seizing the quarry materials may end up against the government as the case later may actually slip the government’s hands out of technicality, as he pointed to the law.

Not all police officers are actually deputized, so they are technically not allowed to apprehend, he said.

After the violators have been ordered stopped, and yet operations continue, they can now be apprehended on grounds of disrespect to authority, de Dios added.

This would however be without prejudice to a formal case to be elevated by the environment agency if found they have indeed quarried illegally (Chiu – PIA).

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