Quarry owner’s appeal junked

The Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) has junked the appeal of a quarry operator in Negros Occidental who was found guilty of using “fake tickets”.

Lawyer Wilfredo Ramon Penalosa, provincial environment management officer in a letter dated January 29 addressed to Melvin Ibanez of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental denied allegations that the provincial government has “no resolution” on the case.

Penalosa in his letter obtained by Capitol media yesterday said that the hearing officer has recommended that the Provincial Treasurers Office “conduct further investigation into the matter.”

Ibanez was found issuing “fake permits to transport sand and gravel in Brgy.Urong, Kabankalan.”

Ibanez wrote Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr., last January 12, 2018 seeking his “intervention” on his case.

In his letter to the governor, he said that the cease and desist order (CDO) issued by the PEMO is still in effect and “continue to stun my operation of the quarry. I have already lost substantial amount of potential income due to said CDO.”

The businessman also cited the case of a certain Benjamin Roy Guirmela, another permit holder who was caught using fake permits in Brgy. Cabatangan, Talisay City whose CDO was lifted in November last year.

In his letter, Ibanez also said he wants “a settlement.”

Penalosa said that the case of Ibanez is “not similarly situated” as that of Guirmela.

He pointed out that “Guirmela’s case involves only two violations of the Provincial Tax Ordinance while your (Ibanez) case involves 3,049 violations.”

“The fake PTT’s recovered from Guirmela’s case cover a span of a few day’s transaction while your case covers transactions during the period of almost three years,” he added.

According to Provincial Legal Officer Jose Maria Valencia, Ibanez’ offer for settlement was violative of the tax ordinance.

Under the ordinance each violation has a penalty of P15,000 thus Ibanez will have to pay the provincial government about P45 million in penalties.

Valencia said that a case of falsification of public documents, which is criminal in nature will be filed against Ibanez within the week.* (NDB)



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