The FENIX Files Special Investigative Report
Camarines Norte, PH (August 2, 2017) – Once again the official of the Provincial Government of Camarines Norte which was revealed behind the rampant illegal mining operations in the province of Camarines Norte that previously investigated and charged by the National Bureau of Investigation before the office of the Ombudsman is now targeting “the abundant gold reserves” of Malaguit River in Paracale, Camarines Norte, in the guise of the deceitful “Malaguit River Desilting Project”.
Malaguit River is one of the important rivers in the Province of Camarines Norte. The main contribution of the said river is vital in the economic sustainability of the area. Paracale is a town with abundant gold reserves which make gold panning and gold processing the primary source of livelihood in the area aside from farming and fishing.
However, with the proliferation of small-scale gold mining and gold processing industries in the past years, this accelerates the ill effects to the biological conditions of the river which are manifested by the slow growth of stocks and fish productivity.
Malaguit River is an approximately twenty-two (22) kilometer waterway originating from a creek located at Sitio Igang, Barangay Bato-Balani and traverses Barangays Dagang, Tawig, Talusan, Pinagbirayan Malake, Calaburnay, Mancasay, Labnig, Tugos and Malaguit. Mangrove and nipa plants abundantly surround the river. Scattered bamboo and coconut trees were noted along the rural areas.
MALAGUIT RIVER DECLARED AS DEAD RIVER
On March 18, 2004, former DENR Secretary Elisea Gozun, reported that Malaguit River was included in the Fifteen (15) rivers were classified as biologically dead. Of the 15 rivers, five are in the metropolis and 10 are in the provinces. (Source: http://www.philstar.com/metro/242967/five-metro-rivers-declared-dead)
Malaguit River is one of the priority rivers under the SAGIP ILOG PROGRAM of DENR which was started on CY 2005 to 2014. In 2004, quarterly water quality monitoring of said river was conducted by the DENR-EMB to check the concentration of cyanide that could affect the aquatic organisms and contaminate the surface waters, the result of which can be used as basis for river rehabilitation. (Source:http://r5.emb.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Annual-Assessment-Report-Malaguit-)
A River is a Legacy; they say that rivers reflect our health as a society. If this is the case, then we are in big trouble if Malaguit River will widely dredge to extract the abundant gold reserves of the river in the guise of “Malaguit River Desilting Project” while the truth of “Desilting” is “Mining” with the intent of total disregarding several provisions of the mining laws. But it’s not yet too late!
REHABILITATE THE RIVER WATER QUALITY
Rehabilitation of Malaguit River is more important to improve the “river water quality” and may deemed be effective and applicable in the other tributaries in the river system and to its aquatic resources. This is in compare into a “Mining Operation in the guise of Desilting Project” by way of using heavy dredging machinery with gold and sand magnetic separator, which was formerly utilized by several mining groups previously transacted by Governor Edgardo A. Tallado thru his mining liaison officer Mr. Ronaldo Vargas.
See the below documentary pictures identifying Ronaldo Vargas while collecting sample of gold ore’s from the small scale gold panner’s along Malaguit River:
On June 5, 2017, Governor Tallado requested from the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Norte thru Vice Governor Jonah G. Pimentel for authority to sign in the Memorandum of Agreement with KSA Quarrying and Aggregates Supply Co. Inc for the desilting of the Malaguit River.
See the certified machine copy of Gov. Tallado’s letter request to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Norte:
On June 14, 2017, Sanggunian Panlalawigan of Camarines Norte on its 43rd Regular Session approved the “Resolution No. 247-2017 – “A resolution authorizing the Hon. Gov. Edgardo A. Tallado , for and behalf of the Provincial Government of Camarines Norte, to sign and enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the KSA Quarrying and Aggregates Supply Co. Inc. represented by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alex V. Aco in connection with the Desilting Project at Malaguit River, Paracale, Camarines Norte.”
See a certified machine copy of the approved Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 247-2017:
It was resolved in this resolution that the Memorandum of Agreement shall be an integral part of the approved resolution but as of this moment the office of the Governor has not bring for public scrutiny the details of the deceitful Memorandum of Agreement containing the Malaguit river desilting project.
USURPATION OF DENR’S FUNCTIONS
Governor Tallado by entering into a Memorandum of Agreement gravely abused his discretion and deliberately encroached Section 4, 8, and 9 of the Republic Act No. 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995), which provisions describes the Ownership of Mineral Resources, the Authority of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its respective line Bureaus shall have the direct charge in the administration and disposition of mineral lands and mineral resources.
The following stipulated conditions in the said MOA are in violations of the above cited provisions of mining law and these was read as follows:
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing premises, the Parties hereby agree to undertake and implement the desilting of Malaguit River and rehabilitation of the flood prone areas along the course of Malaguit River where the operator is allowed to operate; (the project), and also, the extraction, removal, separation, processing and disposition of any mineral resource that maybe found in the desilted/excavated materials (Mineral Processing)…
RIGHTS OF THE OPERATOR
The province hereby grants the Operator the sole and exclusive right to fully and completely undertake the Project in the Project Area, provided that the Province shall identify the specific and definite areas of the river to be desilted, as described in Annex ‘A’ hereof.
Operator shall have the sole and exclusive right to undertake the actual, and physical processing of whatever materials of value that may be found in the desilted/excavated materials in an accredited mineral processing plant, and to market, sell and dispose the same, and any products or by products of such materials, upon payment of prescribed taxes, fees and charges.
Moreover, Section 102: (Illegal Exploration) and Section 103: (Theft of Minerals) of Republic Act No. 7942 shall be violated by KSA Quarrying and Aggregates Supply Co. Inc., if said company should not secure the pertinent mining permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources particularly in extracting and exploiting mineral resources in mineral areas whether offshore, inshore or onshore areas with abundant mineral deposits.
THE PROVINCE ENCROACHING POWER AND FUNCTIONS OF THE MUNICIPALITY
The violation of Paragraph (A), sub-paragraph (5) and (6), and paragraph (B), Article 25 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing The Local Government Code of 1991 is shown by the fact that the “Implementation of water and soil resource utilization and conservation projects; and the enforcement in municipal waters, including conservation of mangroves are within the authority of the Municipality” which is the rightful sector of the Local Government Units to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement; which is in this case is the municipality of Paracale, Camarines Norte. And the subject MOA must be in accordance with national policies and subject to supervision, control, and review of DENR.
KSA VIOLATION OF THEIR CORPORATE EXISTENCE
The entry of KSA Quarrying and Aggregates Supply Co. Incorporated in a Memorandum of Agreement with Gov. Edgardo A. Tallado to engage in exploring, extracting, removing and/or disposing for profit quarry and mineral resources particularly in a river like Malaguit River is in violation of Article II of its Article of Incorporation, which the specific “Primary Purpose” for the existence of said corporation is limited only for the Quarry Resources found on or underneath the surface of “private and public land”, and it shall conformed with the provisions of Republic Act No. 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
See below copy of the Article of Incorporation revealing the limited primary purpose of KSA Quarrying and Aggregates Supply Co. Incorporated:
ILLEGAL MINING RECIDIVISM IN CAMARINES NORTE
Records show that Gov. Edgardo A. Tallado together with Ronaldo Vargas and his other co-conspirators are behind the rampant illegal mining operations in the province of Camarines Norte; and had already been previously charged by the National Bureau of Investigation before the Honorable Office of the Ombudsman on September 28, 2015, for violations of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act); Republic Act No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees); Republic Act No. 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995 in relation to Republic Act No. 7076 (Small Scale Mining Act of 1991); and Presidential Decree No. 1586 (Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System).
See the below copy of Joint-Affidavit executed by Special Agent Reynaldo Remo and Special Investigator Marvin Matamis of NBI-EnCD revealing that Governor Edgardo A. Tallado and his conspirators are behind the rampant illegal mining operations in the province of Camarines Norte:
To prove by The FENIX Files if there are existing transparency, good governance and public accountability in the government and the truthfulness of the “WAR ON CORRUPTION” of PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE, it has already been requested the immediate investigation of the Office of the President, NBI-EnCD and the DENR to hold the implementation and if possible, indict the officials of Camarines Norte and the conspiring private corporation and individual involved in the deceitful “Malaguit River Desilting Project”, which was use to conceal the real intention of “extracting the abundant gold reserves” of Malaguit River in Paracale, Camarines Norte, Bicol, Philippines. (The FENIX Files Special Investigative Report)