Criminal charges were filed against Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice and miner Patrick Angelo Gutierrez for allegedly falsifying documents to dupe the government and their business partners of billions of pesos in mining revenues.
The complaint was filed at the Surigao Prosecutor’s Office.
In the complaint affidavit forwarded to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Rodney Basiana, a small-scale miner from Agusan del Norte, accused Erice, Gutierrez, John Anthony Gutierrez, Miguel Alberto (Mico) Gutierrez, Alejandro Basalio and Antonio Dimabayu of falsifying a mining application. Basiana claimed that Erice and Patrick Gutierrez forged his mining application to make it appear that it was SR Metals Inc. (SRMI) who applied for a mining permit and in 1997.
Erice and the Gutierrez family own SRMI. The respondents were supporters of former president Benigno Aquino 3rd and former senator Mar Roxas.
Basiana accused the respondents of making it appear that SRMI was the holder of mining claims over an 81-hectare area in Tubay, Agusan Del Norte when it was Basiana Mining Exploration Corp. (BMEC) that held such rights.
SRMI was given a permit to extract Nickel and Cobalt (Ni-Co) on a 20-hectare mining site in Sitio Bugnang, Baranagay La Fraternidad, Tubay, Agusan del Norte. It was fined P7 million for over extraction in 2006.
Basiana said the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) application executed and signed by Erice on July 7, 2006 “was made with the wrongful intent of injuring and damaging BMEC, my late father, my mother, the other members of the Basiana family and me, amounting to billions of pesos.”
It was alleged that BMEC, on August 7, 2000, assigned its rights over its mining application to Manila Mining Corp. (MMC). This is with the colatilla that BMEC shall be the real and true owner of the application and that it has the authority to revoke the same at any period of time.
BMEC later exercised its rights to revoke its Deed of Assignment to MMC. On October 18, 2005, BMEC executed a Deed of Assignment over its mining application in favor of SRMI that was then headed by Erice and Eric Gutierrez on the condition that he will be given five percent of the gross proceeds of the sales of the minerals that will be extracted.
Basiana claimed SRMI refused to honor its commitment to give him his five percent share.