Scalawags at the mines and geosciences bureau

SHOCK WAVES of tsunamic proportions may soon engulf top honchos manning the regional offices of not a few governmental agencies with quasi-judicial and regulatory functions.

Reason: fears spawned by the ouster of Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III are hounding them.

Why, they’ve simply done – and continue to do – WORSE than what Gonzalez did.

Our source or mole recently texted us that the Mines And Geosciences Bureau, Regional Office 10 (“MGB-RO 10”) could be one such office, if how it DRIBBLED the Exploration Permit Application (EXPA) of  Mindanao Gold Resources, Inc. (“MGR”) before finally DENYING the same, were any gauge.

MGR filed its EXPA-000027-X with MGR-RO 10 as far back as in 1998.

Its application was accompanied by a manifestation of compliance, attaching therewith initially checklisted required documents.

For ten (10) years, MGR’s indicated EXPA was neither approved nor denied.

But MGR kept receiving letters from MGB-RO 10 demanding  submission of documents that MGR believed it had already  complied with.

The first demand letter  came in the year 2000.

A follow-up letter was sent in 2001. And the last one surprisingly came in 2009, or eight (8) years later.

Every letter from MGB-RO 10  always “necessitated” a “friendly visit” by MGR president Mr. Diotrepis M. Bautista to that office.

Meanwhile, the long period of time that MGB-RO 10 FAILED to act on MGR’s EXPA led Mr. Bautista to believe that MGR has complied with all prescribed requirements relative  thereto.

Then suddenly – after Mr. Bautista’s visits to MGR-RO 10 became rarer – this office finally issued an Order dated December 15, 2010 DENYING the EXPA of MGR.

Said order of  denial  outright raises a caboodle of queries.

Among them are (a) What is the specific time frame required by existing MGB/DENR rules/regulations for an applicant to comply with prescribed EXPA requirements?; and (b) When is the MGB regional office required to act either way (approve/deny) on EXPAs, with or without compliance with requirements? (To be continued) Alex Almario


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