Palace issues stay order for Lepanto
MANKAYAN, Benguet—The Office of the President recently issued a stay order preventing government agencies from executing the suspension order on the embattled Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. after it filed its allowable appeal to the Palace on time.
In his letter dated April 7 to the LCMC legal department, Acting Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Ryan Alvin R. Acosta confirmed that thanks to Lepanto’s timely appeal, the controversial suspension order “is deemed automatically stayed until otherwise ordered by the Office of the President pursuant to Section 9 of Administrative Order No. 22.”
Palace records show that LCMC filed its notice of appeal before the Office of the President on Feb. 14 this year—when Environment Secretary Regina Lopez declared the cancellation of the mining permits of 75 firms across the country—and its appeal memorandum on March 15. The company represented that it received the assailed suspension order on Feb. 14.
Engineer Thomas Consolacion, LCMC resident manager, said the company was elated upon receiving the stay order from the Office of the President, saying it had been business as usual since the suspension order cropped up several months ago.
The Lepanto official admitted the company’s stock market value dropped drastically since the suspension order was issued, but managed to stabilize it over the past several weeks as it continued its mining operations after the company filed its notice of appeal on time.
Consolacion claimed the company’s losses reached P1.8 billion in terms of shareholders’ investments, aside from other losses incurred owing to the anxiety caused by the sudden suspension, which miners had branded as “without solid basis and cannot stand legal grounds.”
He added the company will continue to work out the eventual lifting of the controversial suspension order to help bring back the confidence of investors to the company and its operations.
Section 9 of AO 22, series of 2011, prescribed the rules and regulations governing appeals to the Office of the President. It provides that the execution of the decision or resolution or order appealed from is stayed upon the filing of the notice of appeal within the period.
However, in all cases, at any time during the pendency of the appeal, the Office of the President may direct or stay the execution of the decision, resolution or order appealed, “from such terms and conditions as it may deem just and reasonable.”
Earlier, Lepanto wrote the Office of the President on March 23, requesting its confirmation on the stay effect of the company’s appeal filed regarding the suspension order dated February 8 issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The order suspended LCMC’s operation after it reportedly failed the DENR’s mine audit on the operation of large-scale mining companies operating in the different parts of the country.