MANILA — Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have arrested four persons for alleged illegal extraction and transportation of limestone in San Ildefonso, Bulacan.
In a statement Thursday, NBI Director Dante A. Gierran identified the four suspects as Ronald Marcelo del Rosario, Jeffrey Ubas Ocquia, Edilberto Villamor delos Santos, and Edison Villamor delos Santos, who were nabbed Tuesday for being actively engaged in transporting illegally-sourced minerals without any valid or existing quarrying permit.
The Environmental Crime Division of the environment department’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau, conducted an operation after investigation confirmed intelligence information on “rampant” illegal mining activities in the town.
According to Czar Eric Nuqui, NBI’s Environmental Crime Division chief, the four suspects had been excavating the area for limestone, a building material used to make cement and glass.
Nuqui also said authorities had seized heavy equipment, such as excavators and dump trucks, with an estimated value of PHP4 million during the operation.
He claimed the owner of the quarry operations has been identified and is subject to investigation since he or she was not on-site at the time of the operation.
The four suspects are set for inquest proceedings before the Department of Justice, facing charges of theft of minerals in violation of the Philippine Mining Act.
The suspects are currently held at the NBI Detention Center in Manila. PNA-northboundasia.com