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DENR Seized 15 Illegal Miners, Quarrying Equipment in Taal Volcan Protected Area

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has arrested 15 illegal miners and seized quarrying equipment in the Taal volcano protected area.

Illegal miners were apprehended by the DENR’s Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service (ELEPS). According to the article, the arrest came after they won a case in October against their illegal operations in the Taal Volcano Protected Area Landscape.

Taal Illegal Miners
Image Source: DENR

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Miners engaging in banned activities in the same area, according to DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, are fearless. This means they are unafraid of breaking environmental regulations and facing the consequences.

“These illegal quarrying operations cannot be stopped if we remain complacent with enforcement operations. This is the reason why the DENR has bolstered training for our enforcement personnel, and more reasons why the legislative arm of the government should expedite the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau (EPEB) Bill,” Cimatu said.

According to the DENR, 15 illegal miners have been arrested for violating the Republic Act (RA) 11038, the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area Systems (E-NIPAS) Act of 2018, Republic Act (RA) 7942, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, Presidential Decree 705, the Revised Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines, and Republic Act (RA) 9275, the Clean Water Act.

Three backhoes and two screeners used in the separation of liberated and extracted sand and gravel materials were confiscated. In addition, during the search, a vehicle carrying 127 board feet of round logs and 122.83 board feet of timber was seized.

ELEPS operatives discovered that the location had also been utilized as a “firing range,” with blue barrels containing pebbles and sand functioning as “target papers,” as well as several gunfire slugs. DENR Undersecretary for Enforcement Benito Antonio de Leon guaranteed that the ELEPS team would do all possible following the operation to apprehend the criminals.

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