Two tea rose marble slabs seized in Angat, Bulacan

UNTV News and Rescue
Blocks of tea marble confiscated by Bulacan Environmental and Natural Resources (BENRO)

BULACAN, Philippines – Two blocks of tea marble measuring 5.3 cubic meters each were confiscated by members of the Bulacan Environmental and Natural Resources (BENRO) on Saturday (January 19) in Angat, Bulacan.

According to BENRO Head Elizabeth Apresto, a tipster informed them of the suspicious movement of goods in Barangay Kalawakan, Donya Remedios Trinidad involving two dump trucks.

“Noong time na na-intercept sila, wala pa ang PNP pero tinawagan ko ang tao ko na puntahan ang PNP Angat,” Apresto said.

BENRO personnel immediately positioned at possible exit points and eventually intercepted the contraband.

Among the convoy of the two trucks was the vehicle of a certain ‘Sy’ who introduced himself as an official of Rosemoor Mining and Development Corporation.

According to initial report, the two tea rose marble slabs were among the 257 slabs confiscated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2008 in Barangay Kalawakan.

The slabs were formerly owned by Rosemoor Mining and Development Corporations but the DENR awarded the ownership to the provincial government in 2015.

Apresto added that the transport permit Sy presented dated January 11, 2010 was already expired and rebooked.

“Inaakala nila kanila pa rin pero hindi napo dahil kanselado na. Dapat ito sa provincial government na po dahil na-i-award na nga po ito sa amin. Wala po silang karapatan na ibyahe po ito dahil kanselado na po ang kanilang Mineral Production Sharing Agreement,” Apresto explained.

Meanwhile, Sy escaped on the way to Camp Alejo in Malolos, Bulacan to surrender the confiscated slabs.

“Noong time na dadalhin na namin sila dito at na-impound na namin dito sa kampo, sumusunod naman po siya. Siguro po ang pagkukulang namin ay dapat nalagyan ng pulis doon sa sasakyan niya,” the environment official said.

BENRO will file a case for violating R.A 7942 or the Mining Act of 1995 and the Provincial Ordinance C-005/ 2011 of the Revised Environmental Code against the two drivers of the trucks identified as Dennis Villarin and Jenel Dagon as well as the owner of the dump trucks Michael Lee.

Sy will also be held liable for the incident.

Kung may papel sila ayusin nila para kami po hindi po kami madamay. Kasi nagtratrabaho lang kami. Akala namin okay. Kami trabaho lang, hindi namin alam ang ganitong sitwasyon na mahalaga pala ang karga naming,” lamented Dagon.

Meanwhile, Apresto revealed that 160 of the 257 tea rose marble slabs owned by the provincial government were already purchased by a Chinese national named Charley Ang for US$500 per cubic meters.

Ang was the winning bidder during the public bidding held last year. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nestor Torres)

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