Twelve persons engaged in the illegal quarrying of lahar have been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
NBI Officer-In-Charge Director Eric Distor identified the arrested persons as John Patrick Reyes, Jhun Murillo, Egilberto San Pascual, Ronald Linsangan, Edcel Ruiz, Vincent Canlas, Aldren Anson, Jomar Nazar, Christopher Moreno, Joel Ong, Francis Pangilinan, and John Michael Malias.
Distor said all 12 were arrested last Nov. 19 by the NBI’s Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) in Barangay Sapang Belen.
Following their arrest, the 12 persons were presented for inquest before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for violating Republic Act 78942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, particularly, Section 103 for theft of minerals and for other violations under Section 110.
The NBI chief said the operation was conducted after the NBI-EnCD received intelligence reports about the illegal quarrying operations being conducted by a certain Guillermo Gamez.
“The surveillance operation revealed the unrelenting extraction of lahar materials in the area,” the NBI said in a statement.
“Verification from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Mines and Geosciences Bureau 3, Environmental Management Bureau 3, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office – Pampanga revealed that Guillermo Gamez Quarry is not authorized or holder of any permit either from the above said government authorities to extract, haul, and dispose lahar materials,” it added.