On petitions against Mining Act, chamber looks to SC

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10:30 PM June 19th, 2013

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By: Ronnel W. Domingo, June 19th, 2013 10:30 PM

In 2008, then Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros and others filed the petitions against Sections 80 and 81 of the mining law. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) has filed a motion with the Supreme Court to intervene in two pending petitions that challenge the constitutionality of the Mining Act of 1995.

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno and former SC Justice Vicente Mendoza are representing the mining group.

The chamber argues that the high court has already decided on the constitutionality of the law in the La Bugal-B’laan vs Ramos case in 2004, a decision penned by former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban.

In 2008, then Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros and others filed the petitions against Sections 80 and 81 of the mining law.

In filing its own motion, the mining group joins other organizations that seek the dismissal of the petitions.

Along with the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, respondents named in the petitions are Sagittarius Mines Inc., OceanaGold (Philippines) Inc., TVI Resources and Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD), and Asiaticus Mining Corp.

“To have the Supreme Court revisit its ruling so soon after the (La Bugal) decision became final in 2005 will definitely shake investor confidence and destabilize a critically needed industry,” the chamber said in a statement.

The chamber added that since the La Bugal ruling, which took six years for the high tribunal to deliberate—the longest in the Supreme Court’s history—there has been no material change in the circumstances of the Philippine mining industry.

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