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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, February 6, 2018
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Quarry operator to
face 3,049 falsification raps

The Negros Occidental provincial government is filing 3,049 counts of falsification of public documents charges against a quarry permit holder, Provincial Legal Officer Jose Ma. Valencia said yesterday.

Valencia said the charges will be filed against permitee Melvin Ibañez, who allegedly used 3,049 fake Permits to Transport (PTTs) sand and gravel in Barangay Orong, Kabankalan City.

Under the Provincial Tax Ordinance each violation carries a fine of P15,000, which means Ibañezfaces a penalty of P45,735,000, Valencia said.

Valencia said Ibañez had negotiated for a P800,000 payment for the violations, but the amount is not in compliance with what is required under the PTO.

The Negros Occidental SangguniangPanlalawigan has granted the request of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. dated January 4 to give Provincial Treasurer NildaGeneroso authority to file the appropriate case against Ibañez for the issuance of counterfeit pink copies of PTTs, he added.

Falsification of public documents is punishable by imprisonment, Valencia said.

Ibañez, in a letter to the governor dated January 12, had asked him to intervene in his case , saying he is innocent of the allegations against him.

The Provincial Environment Management Office, Provincial Treasurer's Office and the Provincial Legal Office miserably failed to directly establish his direct participation in the charge, Ibañez said.

He also said that since May 2017, no resolution had been issued on his case by the PLO and PEMO.

Out of desperation on July 17, 2017 he manifested his intent for a settlement to buy his peace with the hope that he could continue his quarry operations, the main source of his income, Ibañez told the governor.

A cease-and-desist order issued by the PEMO on his operations is still in effect and he has lost a substantial amount of potential income because of it, he added.

I am very much willing and ready to face any criminal charges against me in court pertinent to my alleged violation, so that I will be given equal opportunity to defend myself from the baseless accusation, Ibañez said,

He also questioned why the CDO issued against the quarry operations of Benjamin Roy Guirmela, a permit holder, allegedly also caught with fake PTTs at Barangay Cabatangan , Talisay, was lifted on November 2017.

Provincial Environment Management Officer Wilfred Ramon Peñalosa in a letter to Ibañez dated January 29, said his allegation that there was no resolution to his case was misplaced.

Peñalosa also pointed out that the case ofGuirmela was not similar to that of Ibañez.

Guirmela's case involves only two violations of the Provincial Tax Ordinance, whileIbañez has 2,049 violations of the PTO, Peñalosa said.

He also said the fake PTTs recovered from Guirmela cover the span of a day's transaction while the transactions of Ibañez covered a period of almost three years.

In Guirmela's case a certain Johnny Puro admitted faking of the PTTs that led to the filing of a criminal case against him before the Municipal Trial Court of Talisay City, Peñalosa said.

They cannot allow Ibañez's request for similar treatment as Guirmela as there are substantial differences, he added.

Valencia said a third quarry operator, whose name he withheld, is also under investigation for fake PTTs.*CPG



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