Biz Buzz: Indicted for perjuryBy the staff
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Acting on a complaint filed by former Trade Minister Roberto V. Ongpin (RVO), Makati’s Office of the Prosecutor has indicted for perjury an official of Development Bank of the Philippines who last year published advertisements certifying that private lawyer Zenaida Ongkiko-Acorda had been designated spokesperson of the bank.
This was in relation to allegations that former officials of DBP had engaged in sweetheart deals with RVO—something that preoccupied the Senate last year prior to the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
In a resolution approved by city prosecutors dated March 26, there may be sufficient ground for perjury against Cagliostro Miguel Martinez, OIC of the office of the DBP corporate secretary, paving the way for RVO’s group to file a criminal case. Petitioner Deltaventures Resources Inc. claimed that Martinez’s certification was “a deliberate assertion of falsehood under oath” and that a resolution issued to back the assertion was “only an afterthought.”
The respondent, for his part, has denied any criminal liability, claiming he didn’t make any willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood.
Martinez also argued that such certification was neither required by law nor made for a legal purpose.
“Respondent does not deny authorship of the subject secretary’s certificate. While he executed the same under oath, he subscribed to the truthfulness of what he stated, thereon. Unfortunately, the evidence shows otherwise,” said the resolution signed by senior assistant city prosecutors Antonio Lim Jr. and Christopher Garvida.—Doris C. Dumlao
Casting the first stone
After SM got a load of flak for its plan to “ball” some trees on its Baguio property and relocate them within the same location, some people apparently went digging into government records to see whether the public has been giving equal criticism to other players in the area.
Lo and behold. As it turns out, the trees that will be balled on SM’s property apparently make up a very small number compared to others that have either been balled or cut outright around the city over the last decade.
Records from the environment department show that almost 4,100 trees have been affected since 2002 due to construction work around Baguio. About 1,500 of these trees have been displaced through earthballing (basically scooping out the tree along with its roots and the surrounding soil). No less than 500 trees were balled in 2008, also with DENR permission.
The biggest implementor of earthballing in Baguio? None other than Camp John Hay, where 1,027 trees have reportedly been cut from 2000 to 2010, while another 332 underwent balling.
Other entities that were issued tree-cutting permits and special cutting or earthballing permits due to expansion, development projects and construction include the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, University of the Philippines Baguio, Saint Louis University, government line agencies, subdivision developers and private lot owners.
The record also listed the issuance of tree-cutting permits to some entities since the trees concerned, either live or dead, posed a danger to lives and property.
So while the opposition is currently focused on halting the balling of the remaining 182 trees at the SM Luneta Hill property, many are unaware that the SLU administration has supposedly pushed through with their development in the Pacdal area even while their request for a cutting permit with the DENR has not yet been acted upon.
The development in the area, based on their request for permit, is for the expansion of its SLU Boys High campus.
According to a source, even one real estate and condominium developer has cut trees for their project on Leonila Hill, Bakakeng and some parts of La Trinidad—with the permission of the city government—even though it has not been issued any permit by the DENR.
Double standard, anyone? Probably.—Daxim L. Lucas
Speaking of trees…
Norway-based Intex Resources Philippines Inc. and Aglubang Mining Corp. have launched the Livelihood Enhancement Agro-Forestry Project (LEAF), which entails replanting of various varieties of trees in line with their corporate goal of propagating safe and green mining.
Representatives of the Church and local government officials witnessed the project’s formal launching on Tuesday in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.
The tree-planting project is not only meant for the conservation and rehabilitation of the ecological system, but also to provide community livelihood as well.
To date, the proponents have planted about 500,000 seedlings from their nurseries and planted over 300,000 trees. They have responded to the call of the government to participate in its greening program by committing, through the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, to plant 600,000 trees.
Both companies are affiliates of Intex Resources ASA, a publicly listed company in Oslo, Norway. They are the main proponents of the Mindoro Nickel Project, which, if realized, will bring an investment of $2.5 billion and generate 10,000 jobs during construction, and another 2,000 during operations with its attendant multiplier effect.
The company’s initial commitment is to establish a P5-million fund for the promotion of the technology through technical training, capacity building, marketing assistance and the provision of seedlings of various forest and fruit trees, as well as industrial tree crops targeting at least one million seedlings and the development of a 10-hectare demonstration farm in Occidental and Oriental Mindoro.—Daxim L. Lucas
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Tags: Environmental Issues , Intex Resources Philippines Inc. and Aglubang Mining Corp. , Livelihood Enhancement Agro-Forestry Project , perjury , Roberto V. Ongpin , SM Baguio , tree cutting , tree planting , Zenaida Ongkiko-Acorda