DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The National Democratic Front in North Eastern Mindanao Region has exposed Wednesday the alleged “greediness and shady mining deals”of Surigao del Sur First District Congressman governor Prospero Pichay.
Ka Maria Malaya, spokesperson of NDF-NEMR, said Pichay’s Claver Mining & Development Corporation (CMDC) continues to operate and load nickel ore despite the suspension order issued by the the Department of Natural Resources.
Malaya said CMDC, formerly owned by mining operator Shenzhou Mining Corp., has destroyed the environment and caused severe siltation of the once pristine sea waters in the boundary of the two Surigao provinces.
The NDF-NEMR’s spokesperson said that Pichay’s well-established political connection with Surigao Norte Governor Sol Matugas, Pichay’s CMDC was able to acquire a loading permit despite DENR/MGB suspension.
Pichay was also able to secure a “verbal” ore transport permit (OTP) from then MGB Director Leo Jasareno who also granted Shenzhou loading permits after its suspension, and was able to sell a shipload of ore in June of this year.
Pichay, she said, has acquired CMDC “through fraudulent means, using his connections with corrupt government officials in the Securities and Exchange Commissions to take control of the company and his connections in the DENR and MGB to continue its operations.”
It can be recalled that DENR Secretary Gina Lopez suspended CMDC’s operation August this year. However, Malaya claimed that CMDC continues to load nickel despite it was halted by NBI operatives back in Sept. 29.
The Surigao del Sur representative who is known for being a staunch ally of former president, now Pampanga Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to NDF is a “shameless corrupt official with the intent of acquiring wealth through deceitful means.”
For instance, in Caraga region, Pichay reportedly “collected cuts from mining companies operating in the region for the Arroyos.”
“He collected one percent from proceeds of every shipload of nickel ore in the many destructive mining operations in Caraga. Foreseeing the end of his corrupt boss’s regime, he worked on acquiring his own mining company in Surigao del Sur, strong arming mining companies into awarding him portions of their mining concessions,” Malaya said.
“With the assurance of corrupt government officials still in place under the Duterte administration, Pichay continue to use his position to plunder Caraga’s resources, blatantly ignoring the reactionary laws of the land and unmindful of the destruction wrought by his mining operations,” she said. (davaotoday.com)