FORMAL charges have been filed against five persons, including a barangay chairman, following their arrest for illegal quarrying in Magdalena, Laguna.
Brought for inquest by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) before the Department of Justice (DOJ) were Bgy. Balanac chairman Dennis Olipano, Michael Abad, Randy Delos Reyes, Danilo Noriel, and Abner Davac.
The arrested are facing charges for violation of Section 103 of Republic Act 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995) and Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). They were accused by the NBI-Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) of allegedly disposing and extracting boulders and minerals from Balanac River, Laguna without necessary permits.
Their arrest stemmed from a report regarding an alleged illegal quarry operation in Bgy. Balanac, Magdalena.
Operatives were also able to transact with Olipano who agreed to sell four truckloads of boulders for P17,000 per truck.
On March 11, 2021, a joint team of NBI-EnCD, DENR-Environmental Protection and Enforcement Task Force (EPETF), DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Philippine Army 1st Infantry Battalion was formed to conduct the operation.
The suspects were collared for disposing and extracting boulders and minerals from Balanac River, Laguna without permits from DENR-MGB or the PMRB-Laguna.
Seized from the operation were four trucks with a total estimated value of P6 million and 30 cubic meters of boulders and fabricated screens with an estimated value of P43,000.Publication Source : People's Tonight