LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (Feb. 22) — The Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) confirmed that the Al Magan Mining Exploration Corporation (AMMEC) has no authorization or permit to conduct mining exploration activities in Barangay Lubo, Kibungan.
Earlier, residents of Lubo said that the entry of AMMEC representatives was illegal and violated the provisions of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) for a free prior and informed consent (FPIC).
In a letter furnished to the Benguet provincial board, MGB reported that mining claims over the said area particularly Application for Production Sharing Agreement (APSA) 008 and 060 were originally under the name of Benguet Ventures Incorporated (BVI) and are still under process for assignmentto AMMEC.
The report also said APSA 008 and 060 are still for publication and endorsement to the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) to undergo the required certification preconditions.
Earlier NCIP in a letter last December, from Regional Director Atty. Leilene C. Gallardo to an inquiry from Lubo residents, said that there are no pending applications for certification precondition processes over the area.
Lubo residents opposed to the mining project said that it would destroy their source of livelihood and the environment. They claimed the mining project would also affect adjacent barangays.
BVI has 170 mining applications covering areas of Boneng, Atok and Lubo. Forty-two of the said applications were already issued with lease of contracts that expired in 1997 and 1998. The remaining 128 are pending with lease applications. # Kim Quitasol for NORDIS