THE National Bureau of Investigation arrested 19 people, including two South Koreans, for illegal quarrying in Pampanga.
The NBI - Environmental Crime Division said the suspects were arrested on separate operations last February 7 in Bgy. Dolores in Bacolor and Bgys. Calsadang Bayu and Manibaug Pasig in Porac.
Two firms, Sammi Vibro and BM Marimla Plant, were extracting lahar-based minerals in the area near the Mega Dikes River without valid sand and gravel permits from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the NBI said.
Arrested in Bgy. Dolores were Korean nationals Gi Man Lee and Jeong Sunmi, both operators of Sammi Vibro.
Also held were John Paul Sumat, Jory Sabacan, Alberto Lingad, Joseph De Leon, Sandy Vosotros, Alex Basilio, Fernando Tomas, Tyron Manalo, Mark Glen Reyes, Rudy Libunao, Joey Madrona, Marcelino Bundoc and Lamix Abogan.
Alfer Nueva, Rodolfo Pineda, Higinio Javate and Ener dela Cruz, all workers of Marimla Plant, were arrested in Bgy. Calsadang Bayu.
The suspects are facing charges for violation of Section 103 or Theft of Minerals under Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.