Dipolog hearing may help resolve open pit mining ban | Inquirer Business

Dipolog hearing may help resolve open pit mining ban

/ 05:15 PM January 17, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — The Dipolog Regional Trial Court (RTC) has set a “judicial trend” in ruling against a ban on open-pit mining and this might eventually help resolve the constitutionality issue on other ordinances banning open pit mining, such as the one in South Cotabato, former presidential adviser on Mindanao affairs Jess Dureza said in a statement.

“The ruling of the Dipolog RTC saying that the Zamboanga del Norte province cannot impose an open-pit mining ban is a judicial trend or what we call a case of first impression,” Dureza said.

The hearing in Dipolog City would be an important step to help the national government or even the Supreme Court to finally make a ruling on this issue, he said.


Dureza, a lawyer, used to be the head of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).


Dureza said the decision of the Dipolog RTC might eventually help the Tampakan mining project in South Cotabato.

“Both the Zamboanga del Norte issue and the South Cotabato issue are related not because both involve open-pit mining but because it is an issue on constitutionality,” Dureza said.

Dureza explained that “it is principally the same issue which is a local government cannot disallow that which is allowed by a national law.”

The Dipolog court has noted that the Mining Act has allowed open-pit mining, Dureza said.

Although Dureza said that the South Cotabato provincial government has the prerogative to decide on the matter of the Tampakan project, he also noted that this would be a good opportunity for the province to re-assess its own position on banning open-pit mining.

“We have to stop local government units from passing ordinances that contradict our national laws and uphold the rule of law,” Dureza said.


Dureza said the question now for South Cotabato would be “whether to continue with its ban on open-pit mining when it may be just stricken out by courts using the Dipolog RTC ruling as precedence.”

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TAGS: Business, courts, litigation, Mining and quarrying, open pit mining, trials

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