SEVERAL officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 1 and several police officers are facing multiple car theft charges before the Pangasinan Prosecutor’s Office after 12 trucks of a mining firm were forcibly taken by the two government agencies.
A statement issued by Golden Summit Mining Corp., said last September, their trucks were seized by the officials despite ore transport permits and valid vehicle registrations they presented.
The trucks, with their cargo of ore, were taken to the police station and impounded. Surprisingly, both the DENR and MGB offices in Region 1 have not issued a confiscation order while the trucks and their precious cargo are nowhere to be found.
Charged before the Prosecutor’s Office for 12 counts of car theft were DENR Region 1 Director Paquito Moreno Jr.; City Environment Officers Melchor Gonzales and Benjamin Abucay; MGB Region 1 Director Carlos Tayag together with his engineers Renato Rimando and Romualdo Rosario; and Senior Insp. Dennis Cabigat of Dansol, Pangasinan-Philippine National Police.
Also, police in the area denied they have in their custody the trucks (ABF 4020, ABF 4022, AFA 8117, NQS 279, 022808, ABF 4018, RHC 135, RMV 370, RMX 908, UQV 480, WLQ 143 and WTS 339).
Officials of the mining firm are asking DENR Secretary Regina Lopez to conduct an investigation of the incident in line with President Duterte’s anti-corruption policy.
They also called on PNP chief Director Ronald dela Rosa to subject Cabigat to an investigation for allowing his office to be used to harass legitimate business operators.
No word was received from the officials charged or from Lopez or dela Rosa regarding the issue as of this writing.