Supreme Court issues Writ of Kalikasan against 5 mining companies in Zambales

admin   •   June 21, 2016   •   3766

IMAGE_JUNE-21-2016_UNTV-NEWS_WRIT-OF-KALIKASAN

Five mining companies in Zambales blamed for the destruction of the enrivonment in the area now risk of being shut down.

Acting on a petition of the residents of Sta. Cruz, Zambales, the Supreme Court issued a Writ of Kalikasan against Benguet Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc., LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. and Shangfil Mining and Trading Corp.

“The court found the petition sufficient in form and substance to merit the issuance of the Writ of Kalikasan,” said Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te.

The Supreme Court has already ordered the Court of Appeals to conduct hearings on the petition.

The high court also ordered the mining companies and DENR to file verified returns of the writ within 10 days.

In their petition, the residents of Sta. Cruz, Zambales are asking the high court to stop the operations of the mining companies due to the destruction it has caused to their environment.

Mining operations have also caused forest denudation in the area.

They also claim that their irrigation system has been destroyed by mining and their livelihood was heavily affected.

(RODERIC MENDOZA/UNTV NEWS)

Trump asks Supreme Court to block subpoena for his tax returns

Robie de Guzman   •   November 15, 2019

US President Donald J. Trump waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return from a campaign rally in Bossier City, Louisiana; in Washington, DC, USA, 15 November 2019. EPA-EFE/YURI GRIPAS / ABACA / POOL world rights

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s personal attorneys on Thursday asked the US Supreme Court to quash an attempt by prosecutors in New York to obtain his tax records for the last eight years.

The filing comes after a US district court and a federal appellate panel ruled that Trump’s accountants, Mazars USA, had to comply with a grand jury subpoena for the documents.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose office has been trying to enforce the subpoena, said he would delay action to allow the president’s lawyers to ask the Supreme Court to consider the case in the current term, according to The New York Times.

“For the first time in our nation’s history, a state or local prosecutor has launched a criminal investigation of the President of the United States and subjected him to coercive criminal process,” Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said. “Politically motivated subpoenas like this one are a perfect illustration of why a sitting president should be categorically immune from state criminal process.”

The dispute goes back to August, when Vance’s office demanded that Mazars hand over the tax records as part of an investigation into whether the Trump campaign’s 2016 hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal violated the laws of New York State.

Both women said they had affairs with Trump, who denies the claims.

On Wednesday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals let stand an earlier ruling that Mazars must also provide eight years of Trump’s tax returns to the Oversight and Reform Committee of the US House of Representatives.

The committee is seeking the tax records for “legitimate legislative pursuits, not an impermissible law-enforcement purpose,” the appellate judges concluded.

Trump’s legal team plans to ask the Supreme Court to take up that case as well.

While the US Department of Justice has long held that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, Trump attorney William S. Consovoy has maintained that his client enjoys “temporary presidential immunity,” not only from prosecution, but also from investigation. – EFE-EPA

llb/dr

DENR targets ‘swimmable’ Manila Bay by end of 2019

Marje Pelayo   •   November 14, 2019

Volunteers collect rubbish along the shore during the launch of the Manila Bay rehabilitation in Manila, Philippines, 27 January 2019. Thousands of volunteers and government workers gathered at Manila Bay to launch an inter-agency program effort to rehabilitate the waters dubbed as ‘Battle for Manila Bay’. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) wants to improve the quality of water in Manila Bay to make it “swimmable” by the end of the year.

On Wednesday (November 13), DENR tested water sample from a creek near the DENR-NCR office in East Avenue, Quezon City.

An organic solution which is said to reduce pollution level in water has been applied.

“Its 100% organic so pwede siyang inumin ng tao, pwedeng inumin ng hayop, (so it could be consumed by humans and animals),” explained CHC Agritect Archieval Cabral.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu personally witnessed the solution’s effect on the contaminated water.

Cimatu said the agency plans to study whether the solution can be used to rehabilitate Manila Bay.

The DENR targets to make its water swimmable or safe for recreation before the end of the year.

“Ang first ano natin is ma-cleanup ang Manila Bay, ang fecal coliform. Iyon ang pinaka-target natin na mapababa, (First, we need to clean up Manila Bay’s fecal coliform content. That’s what we are targeting to reduce,)” Cabral said.

The DENR plans to construct three outfalls and a treatment plant near the Manila Yacht Club in Roxas Boulevard to help reduce pollution in Manila Bay.

“Especially kung nandyan na yung treatment plant talagang bababa na iyon, (Especially if the treatment plant is already working, [coliform content] will be further reduced),” Cimatu said.

“Kasi yung mga matataas na coliform diyan mati-treat nito (Because if coliform content is high, the facility will treat the water),” he assured.

The DENR will commission at least 2,000 personnel to maintain cleanliness in creeks across Metro Manila that discharge water to Manila Bay.

“Kasi kahit maglinis-linis tayo sa dagat kung tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pagbaba ng garbage coming from the esteros, ay ganun pa rin, (Even if we do clean up drives but garbage disposals coming from the esteros continue, the situation will remain the same),” Secretary Cimatu said.

“So, we have to solve the problem from the sources,” he added. – MNP (with EXCLUSIVE interview by Rey Pelayo)

CJ Peralta hopes verdict on Maguindanao massacre will be issued before year-end

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Journalism students of Bulacan State University light candles in commemoration of the 4th anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre in front of Bulacan Capitol, Malolos City, Bulacan. Photo taken November 21, 2013. | PVI/Junnel Aquino

The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes a 30-day extension in issuing her verdict on the Maguindanao Massacre case.

The case has already been submitted for resolution on August 22 and the court was supposed to come up with a verdict within 90 days or until the third week of November but Judge Reyes requested an extension.

CJ Peralta said they understand Reyes’ predicament due to the voluminous records and evidence that she had to consider which prompted the Supreme Court to approve her request for a one-month extension.

“We also allow meritorious motion for extension and we understand her predicament,” said Peralta.

The chief magistrate, however, expressed hope that Judge Reyes will no longer ask for another extension in issuing her verdict on the case.

“I hope that she will no longer ask for another extension so that before the end of the year those cases will finally be decided,” he said.

According to the memorandum that the SC sent to Reyes, she has until December 30 to arrive at a decision and it is already non-extendible.

On November 23, 2009, armed men ambushed 58 individuals, including 32 members of the media, in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Among the slain was the wife of former Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu who was supposed to file his certificate of candidacy for Maguindanao gubernatorial election, opposing the Ampatuan clan.

The Maguindanao Massacre is considered the world’s worst election-related incident of violence and the deadliest attack against the members of the media. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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