NBI busts illegal quarrying in Pampanga

Part of Gumain River in Pampanga.

The National Bureau of Investigation’s Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) on Thursday arrested 11 individuals, including two Chinese nationals, in Floridablanca, Pampanga for illegal quarrying.

NBI Director Dante A. Giuerran identified the arrested suspects as Jiemvo Cadorma, Dranreb Gegante, Joey Espanola, Ruben Garcia, Danilo Carida, Erik Quiambao, Wilfredo Gonzales, Mary Jane Nuguid, Antonio Buyson and the Chinese nationals Geng Ping y Zhu and Ge Wei Chen.

The arrest followed a complaint on illegal quarrying the Palacol Quarry and Development Corporation, through its general manager, filed with the NBI on 11 February 2019.

NBI operatives conducted surveillance operations and found several operators of quarry, vibro processing and washing plants are operating along Gumain River, Floridablanca, including Riah Yuan Vibro and Antonio Buyson Quarry.

The NBI agents also saw backhoes extracting minerals in the river and putting it on a dump truck that proceeded to Riad Yuan Vibro which then processed the minerals through a vibro plant.

Also seen were trucks waiting in line to be filled with processed sand and leaving the area.

Gierran said the erring quarrying plant is not registered with the DENR Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region 3 and the quarry of Antonio Buyson is done outside the permitted area.

With this, the NBI-EnCD operatives with the DENR-MGB 3 proceeded to Barangay Consuelo, Floridablanca on 19 June 2019.

While traversing the Consuelo Bridge, the operatives observed that the backhoes in the Gumain River were extracting minerals and loading the same to the trucks.

A truck was also observed unloding minerals in the vibro plant to be processed. Dump trucks were also observed in the area and the suspects were also found in the act of dumping minerals in the vibro, arranging/preparing it at the vibro plant.

The suspects were arrested for mutually helping one another and acting in unison to carry out theft of minerals by quarrying and extracting outside the permitted area, processing raw minerals in Riah Yuan Vibro and disposing the same with intent to gain in violation of Section 103 (Theft of Minerals) of RA 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995).