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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila

GREEN POTATO, INC., PAPAYA BACOLOD MOVEMENT,

ATTY. KARDO POTASYO, IN THE REPERESENTATION

OF THE RESIDENTS OF BACOLOD CITY,

GOV. IVAN MISAGAL AND VICE – GOV. EMMANUEL


REBADONIA, IN REPRESENTATION

OF THE RESIDENTS OF RESIDENTS OF BACOLOD SIBUGAY,


ET. AL.,

Petitioners

-Versus- G.R. No. 696969

Petition for Writ of Kalikasan

With prayer for

Temporary Restraining Order and

Writ of Continuing Mandamus

HON. KARINA JOY GIMAY, in his

capacity as Secretary of the Department of Environment

and Natural Resources, DIRECTOR Otto Patatas

S. KADIL, Mines and Geosciences Bureau,

DIRECTOR VALERY ANN P. SILANG, Protected

Areas and Wildlife Bureau and the CHAMBER OF

MINES OF THE PHILIPPINES

Respondents
x----------------------------------------------x

Petition for Issuance of Writ of Kalikasan

With Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order

and Writ of Continuing Mandamus

Petitioners, by undersigned counsel, to the Most Honorable Supreme


Court respectfully state:

PREFARATORY STATEMENT
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

This petition assails in the strongest terms imaginable the acts of the public
respondents and private respondents which threaten to violate the petitioner’s
right to a balanced and healthful ecology. Petitioners humbly come before this
august body and most respectfully pray that its Honorable Members, acting
collectively as the third great branch of government, exercise their
constitutional duty to unanimously CHECK the illegal acts of the respondents.

Republic Act 7486 of the National Integrated Protected Areas System or


NIPAS’s declaration of policy takes cognizance of man’s activities on all
components of the natural environment particularly the effect of increasing
population, resource exploitation and industrial advancement and recognizing
the critical importance of protecting and maintaining the natural biological
and physical diversities of the environment notably on areas with biological
unique features to sustain human life and development. However, this is
violated by the acts of the public respondents DENR and MGB by opening
protected areas to be exploited by private respondents.

Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act
which seeks to protect the rare and endangered flora and fauna was also
contravened by respondents. The impact of mining on the biodiversity is so
grave that the destruction of natural habitats and removal of vegetation, and
decline, endangerment and extinction of wildlife species is very imminent.
NATURE OF THE PETITION

This petition is filed pursuant to Section I, Article 8 of the 1987 Constitution


of the Philippines which pertinently provides that this Honorable Supreme
Court possesses the judicial power “to determine whether or not there has been
a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction on
the part of any branch of government.” This is also brought pursuant to the
power of the Supreme Court under Section 4 of Article 3 of the 1987
Constitution of the Philippines to decide cases involving the constitutionality
of , among others, a law and its implementation.

The Parties

1. Green Potato Inc. is a Non -stock non-profit corporation duly registered


under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines with its principal office
address at La Purisima Street, Bacolod City where it may be served legal
processes. It is established to provide assistance to victims of environmental
injustice, research and advocacy on environmental policy, local government
consultancy on environmental issues, promoting sustainability and the
protection of human rights. It is represented by Atty. Mike Perez.

2. Papaya Bacolod Movement is a non-governmental organization working


towards the sustainable use and management of biodiversity
throughupholding life and nature to protect the Philippines and Southeast Asia
from further ecological ruin and to serve as a beacon of awareness and action
in the interest of environmental protection and sustainable development,
represented by Bryan Anthony Zambo. Hehas his address at No. 20 Valderoza
Street, Bacolod City.

3. Atty. Kardo Potasyo, and the residents of Vitali, Bacolod City.They may
be served summons at La Purisima Street, Bacolod City.

4. Gov. Kaiser Adan Olaso, in behalf of his constituents with his family
members from Bacolod Sibugay province. His office address is at Masayahin
Street, Bacolod Sibugay.

4.Paulo Jerome Delatado, Department of Environment and Natural Resources


Secretary, the principal agency authorized to grant applications for
exploration permit, mineral agreements, and financial or technical assistance
agreements in Mindanao,wihKalKausarKadil as the Director of the Mines and
Geosciences Bureau the represented by the Solicitor General. The DENR may
be served summons at the DENR Compound, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City.
The Solicitor General may be served at 134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village,
Makati City.

5. Valery Ann Silang, Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Director is the
principal officer of the bureau for Establishment, management and
development of the National Integrated Protected Areas System. She may be
summoned at Diliman, 1100 Quezon City .

6. Chamber of Mines of the Philippines which represents Mining companies


duly registered under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines who are
engaged in mining activities in Bacolod City and Bacolod Sibugay.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND THE CASE

1. On July 21, 1991, the House of Representatives enacted Republic Act No.
7586 entitled “An Act Providing for the Establishment and Management
of National Integrated Protected Areas System, defining its scope and
coverage, and for other purposes.

2. The said Republic Act No. 7586 contains, among others, the following
Section 20 paragraph f:

SECTION 20. Prohibited Acts. – Except as may be


allowed by the nature of their categories and
pursuant to rules and regulations governing the
same, the following acts are prohibited within
protected areas:
f. Squatting, mineral locating, or otherwise
occupying any land.

3. On July 30, 2001, the House of Representatives enacted Republic Act No.
9147 entitled “An Act for the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife
Resources and Their Habitats, Appropriating Funds therefor and For Other
Purposes.”

4. The said Republic Act No. RA 9147 contains, among others, specifically
Section 27 paragraph C:

CHAPTER IV
ILLEGAL ACTS

Section 27. Illegal Acts. - Unless otherwise allowed


in accordance with this Act, it shall be unlawful for
any person to willfully and knowingly exploit
wildlife resources and their habitats, or undertake
the following acts:

(c) effecting any of the following acts in critical


habitat(s)

(i) dumping of waste products detrimental to


wildlife;

(ii) squatting or otherwise occupying any portion


of the critical habitat;

(iii) mineral exploration and/or extraction;

(iv) burning;

(v) logging; and

(vi) quarrying

5. Respondents violated Section 20 (f) of RA 7586 of the National Integrated


Protected Areas System Act because out of 170 tenements being opened
by public respondents for mining, more than 11% subjected to extractive
industry were Protected Areas (PAs)
6. Respondents also violated section 27 (c) of RA 9147 or the Wildlife
Resources Conservation and Protection Act, where the impact impact of
mining to biodiversity affected the destruction of natural habitats and
removal of vegetation, and decline, endangerment and extinction of
wildlife species.

7. Respondents violated or threatened to violate petitioner’s right to a


balanced and healthful ecology. By quarrying or digging tons to extract the
ores, natural resources will be destroyed, and environment will be polluted.
With more than 800,000 hectares opened to mining in Mindanao and less
than 1,000 DENR regional personnel, the MGB will just rely on
unsubstantiated and unverified reports that will be submitted by mining
companies.

8. Petitioner, Mike Perez, of Legal Age, Single, and Executive Director of


Save Green Earth, Inc., resident of Bacolod City. Petitioner, Mac Gyver
Urabang, of Legal Age, Single, and Director of Green Potato Inc., and a
resident of Bacolod City. Petitioner, Bryan Anthony Zambo, Citizen, of
Legal Age, Married, and Executive Director of Papaya Bacolod
Movement, and a resident of Bacolod City. Petitioner, Allen Michael
Escudero, of Legal Age, Single, and Director of Papaya Bacolod
Movement and resident of Bacolod City. Petitioner, Kardo Potasyo, of
Legal Age, Single, and a resident of Vitali, Bacolod City. Petitioner,
Mikaila Ross Fernandez, of Legal Age, Single and resident of Bacolod
Sibugay. Petitioner, Imogen Poots, of Legal Age, single, resident of
Lantawan, Bacolod City.

GROUNDS AND DISCUSSIONS

I. The Right to a Balanced and Healthful Ecology as enshrined in


Section 16 Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution
In the landmark case of Oposa v. Factoran 1, this Honorable Court stated
that:

“While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under


the Declaration of Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of
Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any of the civil and
political rights enumerated in the latter...”

This right to a balanced and healthful ecology in return carries with it the
correlative duty of the State and its citizens to refrain from impairing the
environment. During the debates on this right in one of the plenary sessions
of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, Commisioner Azcuna stated that:

The right to healthful (sic) environment necessarily carries


with it the correlative duty of not impairing the same and,
therefore, sanctions may be provided for impairment of
environmental balance.

The Court ruled that said right implies, among many other things, the
judicious management and conservation of the country's forests.2

Without such forests, the ecological or environmental balance would be


irreversibly disrupted.3

However, despite this right, the Department of Environment and Natural


Resources, the very agency which has been charged for the conservation
and preservation of the environment, has allowed the opening of 800,000
hectares of land, which includesProtected Areas under the National
Integrated Protected Areas System Act (see Annexes).

Studies have been made by non-governmental organization showing the


ill-effects of mining to the environment. (Annexes A, B, C)

Furthermore, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau just rely on reports given
by companies in its evaluation of the companies’ Environmental
Management Programs and Reports, contrary to itsduty to be an
independent body (Annex D, E, F, G, H, I, J) This inefficiency is evidenced
by the inaction of the DENR Employees and officers of various complaints
made by private citizens on alleged violations made by mining companies.
(Annex X)

1
G.R. No. 101083 July 30, 1993
2
ibid
3
ibid
I. Violations of Section 20 (f) of Republic Act 7586 of the National
Integrated Protected Areas System

The National Integrated Protected Areas System Law, provides for the
classification and administration of all designated protected areas to
maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems, to
preserve genetic diversity, to ensure sustainable use of resources found
therein and to maintain their natural conditions to the greatest extent
possible;

The law provides:

Sec. 20. Prohibited Acts- Except as may be allowed by the nature of


their categories and pursuant to rules and regulations governing the same,
the following acts are prohibited within protected areas:

(f). Squatting, mineral locating, or otherwise occupying any land;

In the classification of protected areas, occupancy and exploitation is


prohibited in areas which have been classified as Natural parks and Strict
Nature Reserve 4 . Despite this, the DENR has allowed in the 170
tenements, the occupancy of mining companies where almost 5 % of the
area is classified as the two above (Annexes O, P, Q,R,S), and the
remainder of the 11% , as part of the Protected Areas as evidenced by
permits, maps and documents released by the same office (Annexes K, L,
M, N ).

III. Violations of Section 27(c) of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife


Resources Conservation and Protection Act

The Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, enacted as RA 9147


to conserve the wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainability which
includes the conservation and protection of wildlife species and their habitats
to promote ecological balance and enhance biological diversity.

One of the illegal acts, as stated in the law includes the:

27 (c) effecting any of the following acts in critical habitats:\

i. Dumping of waste products detrimental to wildlife;

4
RA 7586
ii. Squatting or otherwise occupying any portion of the critical habitat;
iii. Mineral exploration and/or extraction;
iv. Burning
v. Logging
vi. And quarrying;

Despite this prohibition within areas of critical habitats, the acts are effected
by private respondents which has affected the flora and fauna of Mindanao,
as provided by studies made by various agencies around multiple areas within
the island (Annex S, T, U, V, W )

Acts and Omissions Complained Of

1. Respondent violated or threatened to violate petitioner’s right to


balanced and healthful ecology. By quarrying or digging tons to extract the
ores, natural resources will be destroyed, and environment will be polluted.
With more than 800,000 hectares opened to mining in Mindanao and less than
1,000 DENR regional personnel, the MGB will just rely on unsubstantiated
and unverified reports that will be submitted by mining companies.

2. Respondents violated Section 20 (f) if RA 7586 if the National


Integrated Protected Areas System Act prohibiting squatting, mineral
locating, or occupying any land within the protected areas. Out of 170
tenements being opened by public respondents for mining, more than 11%
subjected to extractive industry were protected areas (PAs).

3. Respondent’s acts also contravened section 27 (c) of RA 9147 or the


Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, where the impact of
mining to biodiversity affected the destruction of natural habitats and removal
of vegetation, and decline, endangerment and extinction of wildlife species.

Prayer for Relief

Wherefore, premises considered, petitioners most respectfully pray of


this Honorable Court that:

10. Upon filing of this petition that this Court issue a Writ of Kalikasanand
Temporary Protection Order enjoining the members of the Chamber of Mines
from continuing their reckless operations to be effective until such time that
the proper reforms and safety measures have been put in place in respondent
companies facilities to ensure that the environment and resources will no
longer be endangered.

11. This court issue a Writ of Continuing Mandamus to enjoin the DENR
Secretary and Mines and Geosciences Bureau from approving all pending
and new applications for exploration permits, mineral agreements, and
financial or technical assistance for mining companies in Mindanao.

12. This court to issue a Writ of Continuing Mandamus to enjoin the


Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Director to prevent mining activities that
may affect or endanger wildlife and resources.

13. And other just and equitable reliefs are likewise prayed for.

Bacolod City, Philippines, October 13, 2019

Micheal Jemera
Counsel for the Petitioners
La Purisima Street, Bacolod City
IBP No. 0001/ZC
PTR No. 0001/ZC
Roll of Attorneys No. 0001

Potpot Kazooo
Counsel for the Petitioners
La Purisima Street, Bacolod City
IBP No. 88910/ZC
PTR No. 0002/ZC
Roll of Attorneys No. 0001

Verification and Certification of NON-FORUM SHOPPING

We:

a. Mike Perez, of Legal Age, Single, and Executive Director of Save Green
Earth, Inc., resident of Bacolod City.

b. Mac Gyver Urabang, of Legal Age, Single, and Director of Green Potato
Inc., and a resident of Bacolod City.

c. Bryan Anthony Zambo, of Legal Age, Married, and Executive Director


of Papaya Bacolod Movement, and a resident of Bacolod City.

d. Allen Michael Escudero, of Legal Age, Single, and Director of Papaya


Bacolod Movement and resident of Bacolod City.

e. Kardo Potasyo, of Legal Age, Single, and a resident of Vitali, Bacolod


City.
f. Ivan Misagal, of Legal Age, Married, and Governor and resident of
Bacolod Sibugay.

g. Emmanuel Rebadonia, of Legal Age, Single and Vice Governor and


resident of Bacolod Sibugay.

h. Imogen Poots, of Legal Age, single, resident of Lantawan, Bacolod City

All of us swearing in according to law, depose and state that

e. I, Antonio Leandro C. Dagdag, is the duly authorized


representative of Petitioner Save Green Earth, Inc.;

f. I, Bryan Anthony Zambo, is the duly authorized representative of


Petitioner Papaya Bacolod Movement;

f. We have caused the foregoing to be prepared and filed; read all the
allegations contained therein; and found them to be true and correct to our
personal knowledge or based on authentic documents;

g. We have not commenced any other action or proceeding


involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of
Appeals or any other tribunal or agency; and to the best of my
knowledge, no such action or proceeding is pending in the said courts,
tribunal or agency; and should we thereafter learn of such fact, we
will notify the Honorable Court within five (5) days from such notice.

In witness whereof, we have set our hand this day of September 1, 2019
, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Mike Perez

Mac Gyver Urabang

Bryan Anthony Zambo


Allen Michael Escudero

Kardo Potasyo

Kaiser Adan Olaso

Mikaila Ross Fernandez

Coke Sprite

Subscribed and sworn to before me, a notary public in the city of


Bacolod , on this 13th day of October, 2019 by all affiants who are
personally known to me being my clients in this case.

Atty. Salvino Kristi S. Kalalang


Notary Public
PTR No. 1234567, Bacolod City, 1/2/20
IBP OR No. 654321, Bacolod City, 1/2/20
Attorney’s Roll No. 88910
MCLE Compliance Certificate No. IV-
0025415, Bacolod City, 1/2/17

Doc No. 123;


Page No. 21;
Book No. 32;
Series of 2019.