IPs charge lawmaker with identity, mineral theft

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MEMBERS of the Manobo and Mamanwa tribes on Monday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. for alleged corporate identity theft as well as appropriation of mineral ore in Claver town, Surigao del Norte.

The complainants Ireneo Cesar, representing Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC), and James Biol, also known as Datu Palasan of Barangay Ampayon, Butuan City and Datu Renante Buklas, representative of the Ancestral Claimants of CADT No. R-13-CLA-0906-48 located in the villages of Taganito and Urbiztondo, Claver town, went to the NBI accompanied by tribesmen.

Named co-respondents of Pichay were former Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Ramon Paje; Leo Jasareno, former director of Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau; Danilo Uykieng, MGB assistant director; Ador Patino of MGB Surigao City; Alilio Ensomo, MGB Caraga regional director; Jose Salve Cabiling of MGB; and the Chevron Security Agency.

Palasan and Buklas said sometime in November 2015, Pichay came into the picture, pretending and claiming to be president of CMDC after supposedly buying substantial shares of stocks from the firm’s former owner, a certain Fe Ligtas.


The government previously granted Claver Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) No. 103-98-XIII but the DENR suspended its operations in 2012.

Cesar said Ligtas no longer owned the CMDC for she had sold to him and other buyers all her shares of stocks in the firm.

In fact, he signed a joint venture agreement in 2014 with the CMDC/CCIL firm together with the Mamanwa tribes of Taganito and Urbiztondo, who are represented by Datu Palasan and Datu Buklas.

“As of this day, there is no transition or buy-back documents to show that I assigned my ownership to Prospero Pichay Jr., who claims to be the president of the CMDC,” Cesar said.

Ligtas, however, re-registered CMDC in 2007, forcing Cesar and his group to file a complaint for nullification of the registration for same name of the mining firm with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Later, the SEC and the Court of Appeals, in a consolidated decision, directed Ligtas to change her firm’s name, renaming it from CMDC to Hen Hao Machineries.

On November 12, 2015 Pichay, claming to be CMDC president, filed a complaint of forcible entry against the CMDC-CCIL before the Cantilan-Carrascal Municipal Trial Court where he was able to immediately obtain a favorable decision from Judge Ambrosio Moleta.

Pichay used the decision to barge into and take over the premises being used by CCIL/CMDC officers and employees, with the help of the police force and military men assigned in Surigao del Sur.

“Through the fraudulent machination of respondent Pichay, he was able to take over CMDC through the questionable orders of Judge Ambrosio Molete,” the tribal leaders said, adding that Pichay’s actions constitute “downright fraud or misrepresentation and virtual corporate identity theft.”

Cesar also wondered how Pichay, reportedly using his power and influence over DENR officials and MGB, succeeded in exporting several vessels of nickel ore despite the DENR’s suspension of CMDC in 2012.

On October 15, 2016, despite the DENR suspension order and without an Ore Transport Permit (OTP) and Mineral Ore Transport Permit (MOTP), Pichay tried to make a shipment of the minerals but was intercepted by the NBI and the Philippine Coast Guard.

Cesar said records show that Pichay and his group have shipped ore–illegally mined from the CMDC mine site–amounting to $1.8 million (roughly P86 million). The Bill of Lading for the shipment showed China as destination.

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