BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: The Philippine National Police (PNP) and environment personnel have apprehended a convoy of 10 dump trucks allegedly engaged in the illegal quarrying of white sand.
Santa Ana Police Chief Insp. Romar Pacis has confirmed the interception on Thursday of the ten truckloads of white sand at Barangay Racat, about 20 kilometers from the extraction site, after a police patrol gave a chase.
Pacis said the truckloads of white sand were extracted from Santa Ana town beaches in Cagayan, particularly in Anguib.
Anguib beach is one of Santa Ana’s fascinating pristine beaches with its little less than a kilometer stretch of white fine sands and few pine trees in the area. Its clear blue water competes with Blue Lagoon of Ilocos Norte for the title of “Boracay of the North.”
At first, Florence Obiano, Santa Ana environment officer, said they tried to flag down the convoy as it reached the town proper; they drove past, thus prompting authorities to call the local police.
Police reports said the drivers cannot produce the necessary documents, quarry and transport permits issued by proper authorities.
Some of the dump truck drivers however spoke of the Cagayan governor who is the owner of the apprehended loads of white sand.
But Mayor Darwin Tobias of Santa Ana, however, said the drivers may only be using the governor’s name, referring to Gov. Alvaro Antonio, to perhaps get away with it.
However, the provincial governor’s office has denied ownership of the sand and that the governor has denied the claims of the drivers.
Provincial Information Officer Ofelia Parallag said there is no such white sand extraction activity in Anguib being conducted by the governor.
In a further investigation by the Santa Ana police however has verified that all 10 dump trucks are the properties of Isabela provincial government.
Pacis said some of the drivers admitted that they were ordered to deliver the sand in Ilagan City for the ongoing construction at the provincial capitol in Isabela.
Tobias said this activity is very much perplexing.
”We know for a fact that the area is off-limits to the public and we are wondering why these trucks managed to load them without securing the necessary permits,” Tobias said.
Tobias said Anguib beach is part of Santa Ana, which has been closed to the public since May due to the filming of the international reality show Survivor for its 27th season.