In our fight to stop the illegal construction of the diesel power plant Greenpeaceful Camiguin detected many abnormalities and illegal dealings with enough proof to file cases and complaints against government employees, politicians and private individuals.
This was a huge challenge since no lawyers from Camiguin were willing to take CGPC’s cases. The crimes involved are severe and the accused have powerful backers.
- WRIT of Kalikasan with prayer for TEPO (Temporary Environmental Protection Order).
A TEPO stops any construction until the court is satisfied that the rule of law is followed. If laws were disregarded, construction cannot resume. Only the lawyers of Ravanera and Olegario law Office of Cagayan de Oro city accepted the case for Writ of Kalikasan against the construction of a diesel power plant in Maubog, Camiguin.
It was first filed at the Regional Court in Cagayan de Oro City, which dismissed it due to technicality – In its answer the Court argued that a Writ of Kalikasan only applies if the ill effects of a development affects 2 cities or provinces. The Motion for Reconsideration was also dismissed.
The case was forwarded to the Supreme Court. As of May 2016 it was still pending. It will be interesting to see whether the constitution protects only cities and provinces from hazardous industries or every Filipino citizen.
- Ombudsman case against the Head of the Region X Dept. Of Agrarian Reform Office (DAR) and its Provl. Task Force Camiguin Chapter Officer
The DAR office is the entity that has the sole mandate to convert AGRICULTURAL and residential land into INDUSTRIAL land. This also applies to the construction of a diesel power plant by KEGI (Kings Energy Generation Inc.) in the midst of a residential area and on land classified as agricultural land as per Tax Declaration issued by the Municipal Government.
A conversion is a very lengthy process which has to be transparent and must follow rules. One of the rules is that no industrial construction can start without a conversion order. This rule was violated when KEGI started construction without any conversion order.
Despite the explicit order of the National DAR Office to investigate complaints by CGPC, there was no action from the Regional and Provincial offices. In fact, they only gave CGPC a copy of a Provisional Conversion Order, when the Final Conversion Order was already in the making. In that Provisional Conversion Order, it stated, that “there was premature conversion of the area” – this in principle declared the construction as illegal. However, DAR only decided to confiscate a BOND which was deposited by KEGI. It’s amount was not disclosed.
On Oct. 2, 2014, CGPC lawyer Atty. Raul Payas submitted a formal complaint with the Ombudsman against both the DAR Regional X Director and the Camiguin Provincial Task Force officer.
This was then passed to the DAR National Office for investigation. There were two hearings conducted at the DAR Regional Office in Cagayan De Oro City. Up to this date, the case is still pending a decision. However, the plant is already operating!
- Ombudsman case against the Head of the Provincial Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
The DILG is supposed to guard against abuse of local government officials against their constituents. The DILG Manila ordered its office in Camiguin to investigate CGPC’s allegations that the Camiguin LGU failed to protect its constituents from the harmful effects of a diesel power plant and excluded the affected neighbors from the decision making.
Instead of doing so the local DILG representative Ms. Montaus participated as moderator in a one-sided conference at the Sangguniang Bayan hall where CGPC members and their lawyers were subjected to lengthy lecturing about the positive effects of the diesel power plant by the local government heads .
The DILG officer then used the minutes of that conference, which were prepared by the LGU and not approved by CGPC, as primary source of information for her report to the DILG in Manila. CGPC never got a copy of that report.
On Oct. 2, 2014, CGPC -lawyer Atty. Raul Payas submitted a formal complaint at the Ombudsman with copy to DILG National Office against Ms. Montaus. This resulted in a single hearing where the respondent DILG officer was absent. Her affidavit accompanied by a doctors’ certificate says that she could not perform her duties because of a health condition. In spite of her own admission that she is unable to do her job, the case of CGPC versus Ms. Montaus was dismissed.
- NEA ADCOM case no. 22-03-15, filed at the NEA ADCOM on March 22, 2015 – the rigging of a PHP 220 Million purchase of a submarine cable
This is a case against the Board of Directors of the local Electric Cooperative (CAMELCO), its General Manager and the personnel who organised and conducted an illegal bidding for the laying of a PHP 220 Million submarine cable.
CGPC has evidence which proves that there is manipulation and rigging involved in the acquisition of a new parallel submarine cable which was commissioned on October 2014 by CAMELCO. CGPC evidence indicates that phantom bidders were involved in the process.
CGPC is represented by Atty. Erwin Bucio of Barba and Associates of Cagayan De Oro City, who filed the case with NEA Adcom.
CAMELCO filed a MOTION FOR DISMISSAL citing technicalities.
The NEA ADCOM Director Edita S. Bueno dismissed the case due to lack of merits. CGPC and its lawyers are of the opinion, that NEA is biased. On Feb. 1, 2016 atty. Erwin Bucio submitted a Motion for Reconsideration. On Feb. 19, 2016, CAMELCO submitted its response to our Motion for Reconsideration. This case is ongoing.
- NEA ADCOM CASE 04-10-15 – Mandamus, demand for release of hidden documents and case against illegal holding of official positions
On October 4, 2015 CGPC lawyer Atty. Homer Mabale filed a Mandamus case at the NEA ADCOM to force CAMELCO to release the documents CGPC demanded concerning the PHP 220 Million loan for a submarine cable. The case also demands the disqualification of CAMELCO’s General Manager Adriano Ebcas on the following grounds:
Section 10 (26a) of Rep. Act. 10531 or National Electrification Act of 2013 says “no person shall be elected or appointed as an officer or be eligible to run as board member of an electric cooperative if a) such person or his or her spouse holds ANY public office”.
GM Ebcas is married to Ms. Ellen C. Ebcas, the Director III Head of Finance and Administration at the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission). The ERC is the very entity which approves loans and electricity rates among other functions!
In the first hearing GM Ebcas denied that he is an official of CAMELCO. In the second hearing, he denied that Ellen C. Ebcas is his wife.
CGPC submitted its position paper on March 16, 2016. Among other documents, CGPC through its lawyer Mabale submitted the National Statistic Office (NSO) Certificate of Marriage of GM Adriano Ebcas with the former Ellen Caballo, now Ellen C. Ebcas. Registered on Dec. 17, 2008.
Witnesses of the marriage were former Congressman Pedro P. Romualdo and former ERC Chairperson Zenaida Ducut-Cruz.
Congressman Romualdo was proxied by Rosalie A. Salvame and Z. Cruz was proxied by Edgardo L. Salvame.
The Salvames are the owners of Meter King, the only bidder and winner of the PHP 220Million parallel submarine cable. They are also owners of KEGI, the diesel power plant in Maubog Balbagon, Mambajao, Camiguin!
On May 2016, Atty. Homer Mabale received the Resolution of the NEA and CGPC is now waiting for its decision.