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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 2, 2018
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Govít action sought on sale
of Maricalum metal scraps


A worker’s group in the former Maricalum Mining Corp. called for government action on a group that allegedly transported about 50,000 tons of metal scrap from the mining site in San Jose, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental without acquiring legal documents allowing them to move these materials.

Abraham Javier, president of the National Mines and Allied Workers Union (NAMAWU) Local 103, said yesterday that a group led by Arnel Araneta is allegedly cutting old mining equipment into scrap in the closed mine site, transporting them to Bulata Port in Sipalay, and selling them at scrap value for almost a month now.

They have already hauled and transported about 50,000 tons of metal scrap from the mine site, he said.

“We cannot enter the premises of the mining site because it is guarded. Only they (Araneta’s group) can pass it with big trucks loaded with scrap metals,” he said in an interview.

He said that on March 29, his group went to the mining site to ask for a document that allows them to haul and transport scrap metal. However, Araneta’s group only showed them a position paper on the property from the Regional Trial Court Branch 61 in Kabankalan City, he added.

“What they are doing in the area is illegal as the issue has already been solved through the Department of Labor and Employment,” he said, adding, “They only have a position paper from RTC Kabankalan but it does not state that they are allowed to haul and transport.”

A document presented by Javier to the DAILY STAR show that the DOLE has already acknowledged him and his group, NAMAWU-103, as owners of the mining machinery and equipment in Maricalum, worth P129 million, in 2015.

Case No. OS-AJ-10-96-014 of DOLE-Western Visayas said that a certificate of sale showed that it was sold to NAMAWU-103 president Abraham Javier at scrap value of P129,500,000. The document added that Javier won as the highest bidder on Dec. 11, 2015.

These materials consist of mining disposal machines, crushers, classifiers, grinding media, thickeners, assay laboratory, mine site power generators, office equipment, and warehouse materials, among others, which DOLE identified as unserviceable equipment and/or deteriorated structure.

Javier said that, instead of his group benefiting from the materials found in the mining site, Araneta’s group allegedly continues to acquire all the materials available in Maricalum for scrap.

“We already have the certificate of sale. We waited for this for almost two decades. We hope that the government will look into this,” he said.

A writ of execution from Kabankalan RTC, dated Jan. 8 this year, also installed NAMAWU-103 in possession of the subject property. Javier also gave this document to the media.

The writ said that Araneta, together with Julius Bagumbayan, Ricardo Divinagracia Jr., and Joerem Montano are the intervenors in the case.

Javier said “They are supposed to be the intervenors, but why are they the ones hauling the metal scrap in Maricalum?”

He said the government, especially the police, should look for the order or permit to transport from Araneta as they have been doing this activity for almost a month now.

“There should be a legal document or legal personality who should face us to clarify the issue,” Javier said, adding that the 256 members of NAMAWU-103 have been decreasing because the other group is allegedly paying them to get out of the workers’ group.

The DAILY STAR was still trying to contact Araneta and his group as of press time.*MLG


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