MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Temporary Restraining Order Issued Against Berong Nickel Corporation (bnc)

Published by MAC on 2007-01-16
Source: ELAC


Prepared by: Dats Sangkula, Advocacy Officer, ELAC

16th January 2007

On January 11, 2007, the Regional Trial Court of Palawan Branch 95 issued a 72-hour Temporary Restraining Order against Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) enjoining the latter from “loading, conveying, transporting and shipping approximately 30,000 dry metric tons of nickel ore…”

The Petitioner, represented by the Provincial Legal Office, sought the Court’s intervention on the matter alleging that if defendant’s acts are not immediately enjoined by the Court, the same “will severely undermine the laws of the land and will cause grave and irreparable injury to the implementation of the environmental laws in Palawan and result in irreversible destruction of its environment and ecology”.

It can be recalled, the Berong Nickel Corporation was able to secure a Special Mining Permit issued by the Regional Director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the DENR- Region IV-B last November of 2006 for its mining operation in Quezon, Palawan. However, the issuance of such permit is now the subject of the complaint of the plaintiff arguing that the same was not specifically provided for in the Mining Act of 1995.

They further argued that “there is nothing in the law that provides an interim permit prior to the approval of the MPSA”. And assuming a permit has been issued to the mining corporation, the plaintiff further claims that the same is not supported by Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution and therefore, null and void as required by the Department Order Regulation No. 99-40, as amended by DENR Administrative Order No. 99-57.

A day after, January 12, 2007, the Court after hearing the arguments of both parties, extended the 72-hour temporary injunction to January 31, 2007 and set the hearings on the main case on January 23, 24 and 25, for the defendant to present its evidence.

Therefore, the shipping out of approximately 30,000 metric tons, and the vessel on which said nickel ore are loaded, is hereby ordered by the Court to desist from leaving the territorial waters of the Municipality of Quezon and the Province of Palawan until the expiration of the TRO.

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