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Governor Espino charged for illegal mining

Mar 15, 2016 @ 16:17

Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr. has been charged with two counts of graft before the Sandiganbayan for having allowed two companies to conduct the illegal mining of black sand.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the charges on March 14, 2016 against Espino whose co-accused included two provincial officials, namely, provincial administrator Rafael Baraan and Provincial Housing and Homesite Regulation officer Alvin Bigay.

The Ombudsman also charged board members of the he board of directors of the Alexandra Mining and Oil Ventures Inc. and Xypher Builders Inc.

Those charged from Alexandra Mining and Oil Ventures Inc. include Cesar Detera, Edwin Alcazar, Lolita Bolayog, Denise Ann Sia Kho, Annlyn Detera, Cynthia Detera-Camara, Glenn Subia and Emiliano Buenavista.

While, those of charged from Xypher Builders Inc. are Michael Ramirez, Gina Alcazer and Avery Pujol.

The Ombudsman recommended a P30,000 bail bond for each count of graft that each accused should pay.

Under the rap sheets, the provincial government allegedly issued Small Scale Mining Permits (SSMP) to the two companies in 2011 even though they lacked the necessary clearance certificates and accreditation.

The SSMP allowed both Alexandra and Xypher to illegally conduct soil, magnetite and mineral extraction activities in Barangay Sabangan in Lingayen Gulf, Pangasinan.

The Ombudsman also found that both companies were not duly accredited or registered with the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB), did not possess the required business permit from the municipality of Lingayen, and had no clearance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

It was also discovered Espino issued a Mineral Ore Export Permit to Xypher which permitted it to sell the illegally mined minerals to DH-Kingstone Holdings Co. Ltd. based in China for P10.750 million.

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