The country’s largest mining project has finally gotten the green light from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) but under stiff conditions, an official said on Tuesday.
The controversial .9-billion Tampakan copper-gold project of Swiss firm Xstrata and its local unit, Sagittarius Mining Inc. (SMI), in Southern Mindanao has been granted an environmental compliance certificate (ECC), one of the requirements it needs to operate.
The project was stalled due to a provincial ordinance banning open-pit mining in South Cotabato.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the recent opinion of the Department of Justice (DOJ) stressing the supremacy of national laws over local regulations prompted the DENR to issue the ECC.
“The DOJ opinion was very clear to us. It was a major factor in our decision [to allow SMI to proceed with the project],” Paje said on the phone.
He said his department issued the permit to the SMI project upon the recommendation of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), an agency attached to the DENR.
But he said the grant of the ECC to SMI was subject to certain conditions, and failure to comply could result in its revocation.
“SMI should make public the feasibility of the project, ensure that the area does not cover those where mining is prohibited and ensure social acceptability through consultations with stakeholders,” Paje said in a statement.
The Supreme Court en banc has taken back the spurious resolution handed down by the office of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno putting up a Regional Court Administration Office (RCAO) in Cebu City without the prior approval of all of the justices.
In a three-page resolution, the 15-man tribunal invalidated all the previous resolutions, administrative orders and issuances made by Sereno when she revived RCAO on her own.
“This resolution supersedes all prior resolutions, administrative orders and issuances on the covered matter and shall take effect upon its promulgation,” the latest resolution on the controversy pointed out and is entitled: “Creating A Needs Assessment Committee to Study the Necessity of Decentralizing the Functions Appurtenant to the Power of the Supreme Court of Administrative Supervision Over Lower Court.”
The resolution would invalidate the reopening of RCAO done by Sereno in Cebu City last Nov. 26, 2012.
Sereno had earlier issued a draft resolution with insertions of “whereas” clauses which could make it appear that her fake resolution is ratified.
The Chief Justice reportedly made a draft on her own despite the fact that she is not the ponente in the case, but Associate Justice Jose Portugal Perez.
The latest resolution stated that the chairman of the Committee to study RCAO’s creation would be Perez.
The members would be Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, Deputy Court Administrators Raul Villanueva , Jennylind Dolorino, Assistant Court Administrator Thelma Bahia, Chief of Financial Management Office Atty. Lilian Baribal-Co, Atty. Caridad Pabello of the Office of the Administrative Services, Office of Halls of Justice Chief Atty. Regina Adoracion Filomena-Ignacio and Judge Geraldine Faith Econg, Administrator of the Judicial Reform Program.
“Now therefore, the court hereby resolves to create a decentralization needs assessment committee to study and determine the necessity of decentralizing administrative functions appurtenant to the exercise of the Supreme Court’s power of supervision over lower courts; the functions to be devolved; the implementation of the devolution of the functions; and the efficient and effective performance of the devolved functions.”
It also stated that this “committee is given a period of two months within which to submit its report and recommendation to the Supreme Court en banc.”
MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Election Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., on Sunday asked detractors to stop casting doubt on the integrity of the 2013 elections in the absence of a review of the source code by political parties and IT experts. He noted that the country held successful presidential and national elections in 2010 even without the physical appreciation of the source code of Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.
The May 2013 midterm elections will use the same PCOS machines, and Comelec is paying the same supplier, the Venezuela-based Smartmatic. This, amid fears of glitches and avenues for fraud because a source code review will again, as in 2010, not be possible.
HUNDREDS danced in support of the global campaign to end violence against women and children.
Members of nongovernment organizations and government agencies participated in the One Billion Rising campaign that was held simultaneously in Manila, Iloilo, Davao City and Bacolod yesterday at the Ayala Center Cebu.
Leny Ocasiones, Gabriela Cebu party-list chairperson, said the activity was aimed at highlighting the efforts of Cebu-based groups to address various forms of abuse against women and children.
“We want to register our opposition to violence against women and children and be in solidarity with the world,” she told reporters yesterday.
“The statistics are very alarming. We have one woman out of every three women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime,” she said.
Geraldine Labradores, The Fair Trade Shop Cebu director, said there are 37 laws and policies that aim to protect women and children, but the statistics on abuse continue to rise.
She said data from the Women Resource Center from January to December 2012, there were 20,359 cases of rape, attempted rape, incest, domestic violence and sexual abuse.
“As a gender that gives life and nurtures life, we need to be empowered,” she said.
“We think we are safe at home, but we are not. We are abused by our husband, father, uncle,” said Thelma Chiong, of Crusade against Violence and Cebu Women’s Network, in her solidarity message.
“We think we are safe in malls,” she said, referring to her daughters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong were kidnapped, raped and killed in the late 1990s.