5 nabbed for illegal quarry in Tubao River

October 22, 2021 People's Tonight 258 views

LA Union police arrested five individuals for allegedly engaging in illegal quarry operations along Tubao-Aringay River in the municipality of Tubao.

Police records showed that at 10:30 p.m. on October 19, 2021, personnel from the 2nd La Union Provincial Mobile Force Company and Tubao Police Station, in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of La Union, and Mines and GeoSciences Bureau (MGB), responded to a reported illegal quarrying activity at Tubao-Aringay River in Barangay Halog West, Tubao, La Union.

The investigating team then caught the five suspects “quarrying/excavating rocks and stones at Tubao (Aringay) River” using heavy equipment and transport vehicles.

The suspects “failed to show any pertinent documents with their quarrying activity,” the police said.

Arrested were Lito O. Panelo, 40, resident of Barangay Francia West, Tubao; Sammy L. Fernandez, 50, resident of Barangay Magsaysay, Tubao; Irzo M. Asuncion, 50, resident of Barangay Kagawad of Halog West, Tubao; Rolly S. Laron, 37, resident of Barangay Francia West, Tubao; and Michael O. de Guzman, 39, resident of Barangay Francia West, Tubao and helper.

The suspects were detained at Tubao Police Station but they posted bail on the same day.

The arrest of the suspects came after the provincial government of La Union asked a certain individual “to cease and desist your extraction activities outside the applied area.”.

The alleged illegal quarrying in Tubao was discovered following a report from a reliable source.

The provincial government, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) Region 1, conducted a joint investigation in the area on Sept. 14, 2021.

Personnel from DENR-MGB Region 1 gathered global positioning system readings on the location of the extraction activities and based on the plotting, the extraction site was found to be outside the applied permit area of the individual.

The environment officials recommended the individual to stop his operation, rehabilitate the area where he extracted the sand outside his area and pay the penalty for violating Article 9, Section 2A of Provincial Ordinance 274-2021.

They also asked the local government unit of Tubao to monitor extraction along Aringay River to avoid illegal operation and extraction activities.

The shutting down of the illegal quarry operations is in line with La Union’s Anti-Illegal Quarrying Task Force.

The task force was formed to inspect quarry operations, validate information, conduct investigation, monitor all reported illegal mining and quarrying operations and set up necessary checkpoints and monitoring stations in the province.