THE COURT of Appeals (CA) dismissed a plea for a Writ of Kalikasan, which sought to halt the activities of a mining corporation on Sibuyan Island, citing jurisdictional flaws.

In a 33-page resolution, the CA 6th Division ruled that a Writ of Kalikasan is “not an excuse to invoke judicial remedies when there still remain administrative forums” to address the concern.

Instead, the CA ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to resolve the complaint against the two agencies and Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC).

“This Court does not, in any way, turn a blind eye to the allegation of environmental issues that confront the Sibuyan Island,” read part of the resolution penned by Associate Justice Eduardo S. Ramos, Jr.

However, it also stated that the appellate court “cannot simply disregard the jurisdictional and procedural flaws in the Petition; to do so is to belittle the judicial system and administration of justice.”

It cited how the petitioners failed to show the extent of the area affected to justify the writ or to prove that APMC’s exploration activity and transport of nickel ore would harm the life, health, and property of two or more cities or provinces, which is necessary under the Rules of Procedure for such cases.

National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina Jesus Vicente C. Garganera, in a text message to BusinessWorld, expressed disappointment over the CA ruling.

“This is really not applicable nor feasible to fragile island ecosystems which is prevalent to the Philippine geological context,” he said.

“We demand the DENR [to] immediately cancel the Mineral Production Sharing of AMPC to prevent further environmental degradation of the coastal areas and the Mt. Guiting-Guiting protected landscape,” he added. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana