CITY OF MALOLOS – In a joint effort by the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO), Marilao Police Station and 4th Maneuver Platoon, 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company, nine illegal miners were arrested after they were caught in the act of extracting ‘escombro’ minerals at Sitio Batia, Brgy. Lambakin, Marilao recently.
During the police investigation, Victor Sta. Rosa was identified as the owner and operator of the quarry together with his quarrymen namely Virgilio Cabucoy, Jesus Cabucoy, Pelagio Cuervo, William Lorenzo, William Jocson, Melchor Carida, Jerry Abunda and Jun Pasios.
According to BENRO Head Atty. Julius Victor Degala, they were not able to present any appropriate permit thus were immediately arrested.
An estimated of 470.5 cubic meters of escombro were obtained from the miners which costs around P16,762.00 along with the manual tools used in the operation including 100 pieces of chisel, four shovels, three claw bars, three axes, and one sledgehammer which will be used as evidence against them.
Meanwhile, Bulacan Governor Daniel R. Fernando emphasizes his desire to completely eliminate illegal quarrying in the province and reiterates the purpose of Executive Order No. 21-2022.
“Wala pong sasantuhin ang Pamahalaang Panlalawigan at tinitiyak ko, kasama ng pinuno ng BENRO na si Atty. Juvic Degala, na lahat ng magsasagawa ng iligal na quarrying ay mananagot sa batas lalo na at hindi pa naman nali-lift ang Executive Order No. 21. Kaya po ang inyong lingkod ay nakikiusap na tumalima po tayo sa kautusang ito pati na ang ibang environmental laws at itigil na ang mga makasarili at iligal na gawain. Asahan niyo rin po na mas paiigtingin pa namin ang mga operasyong ito para tuluyang mawakasan ang iligal na gawaing ito,” the governor said.
Arrested individuals will be charged with violations of RA 7942 (Mineral Theft), Provincial Ordinance No. C-005 (Bulacan Environmental Code) and Executive Order No. 21-2022.
Also, individuals who sell escombro using Facebook marketplace were also arrested last month in an operation led by BENRO wherein a total of four dump trucks loaded with escombro with no delivery receipts were confiscated and were impounded at the old Provincial Engineering Office at Brgy. Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan.
Other violators were also penalized including 98 vehicles with no accreditation stickers; 21 vehicles with no delivery receipts/transaction slips; three vehicles with minerals with excessive volume and three illegally operated areas.
Executive Order No. 21 mandates the temporary suspension of quarrying and other related activities to preserve nature and natural resources of the Province of Bulacan. ###