CA junks writ in Zambales mining

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THE Court of Appeals (CA) has junked a petition for a Writ of Kalikasan against the DMCI Holdings, which is accused of leveling a mountain in Barangay Bolitoc, Sta. Cruz town, Zambales. The mount reportedly serves as buffer against rising sea levels and storm surges. The writ is a legal remedy providing protection to every Filipino’s right to a healthy environment, “kalikasan” being the Filipino word for nature or environment. In a 33-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Myra Garcia-Fernandez, the court ruled that petitioner Agham Party-list President Angelo Palmones “failed to prove that there is environmental damage of great magnitude that merits the issuance of the privilege of the writ.” Palmones alleged that DMCI Holdings cut and leveled a mountain, pushing its landmass into the sea to create a man-made foreshore and establish a port for mining operations. The act, according to him, makes Zambales and Pangasinan provinces vulnerable to natural disasters. But Justice Fernandez disagreed saying “there is no evidence on record that the local governments or any of its constituents complained of great injury or some kind of danger or harm affecting the life and health of the people of Zambales, Pangasinan and nearby towns.” Associate Justices Fernanda Lampas-Peralta and Francisco Acosta of the CA Eight Division concurred with her findings, which was promulgated on Dec. 12 but was released only recently. The Court, instead, ordered the Environment Department to monitor project.

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