Ombudsman files graft and administrative charges against Lopez

UNTV News and Rescue

MANILA – Gina Lopez faces graft and administrative charges at the office of the Ombudsman. This is due to complaints filed on Wednesday by Citinickel, a mining company in Palawan.

Atty. Lorna Kapunan, the legal counsel of Citinickel, said the issue stemmed from a suspension order imposed in July 2016 on Citinickel.

Citinickel has been ordered to pay P2-million for every hectare of land affected by the company’s mining operations, and P1-million for every ship used in exporting nickel.

“The secretary cannot create under her rule, making authority a separate trust fund because that is covered by the Philippine Mining Act which already had crated two trust funds,” Atty. Kapunan said.

Atty. Kapunan said the former DENR secretary did not permit the company to ship its stock pile despite a permit issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Citinickel cannot ship its stockpile until now despite a suspension order issued by the Office of the President against Gina Lopez’s order.

Lopez also ordered Citinickel to give P130-million to an NGO owned by a former DENR official as fund for the rehabilitation of the mining-affected areas.

“Despite the fact that all cabinet secretaries are under the office of the president this is outright in subordination,” Atty. Kapunan added. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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