NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Mayor Leon Calipusan rejects the allegation that he owns the quarry in this town.
“I would like to clarify and elucidate that the quarry site located in barangay Bonbon Upper, Loboc, Bohol was not personally owned by me but owned by the Local Government Unit of Loboc, Bohol contrary to the allegation,” the mayor pointed out in his letter dated Sept 18, 2020 to Atty. Nilo Ahat, provincial legal officer and chairman of the Bohol Environment Protection Task Force (BEPTF).
BEPTF charged the mayor for the quarry “allegedly owned and operated by Hon. Leon Calipusan, Municipal Mayor, Loboc, Bohol.”
The mayor’s statement as a response to the said allegation came after BEPTF issued Notice of Violation, ordering the mayor to halt and close the said quarry since it has no permit from the governor’s office to operate.
The Notice of Violation, which was also signed by BEMO head Tata Ganub, aside from Ahat, was confirmed by a press statement sent by Kevin Damalerio on Monday (Sept. 21, 2020).
The order to close the said quarry was carried out by task force team led by Col. Alex Maglajos on Sept. 14, 2020, the Capitol statement said.
“Ang notisya (closure order) gidawat mismo ni Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan, kinsa nisaksi sa pagpatuman sa closure order isip tag-iya ug tagdumala sa quarry,” according to the Capitol statement.
The Capitol statement, quoing BEMO, said that the alleged illegal violated section 3, article II of Provincial Ordinance 2008-025 o Bohol Small-Scale Mining Ordinance.
A reliable source (who asked anonymity), who also provided photos of the quarry site and the alleged hauled limestone and crushing plant, told BNT that the closure was also enforced with SWAT team and some police officers.
Calipusan said that the town has been a recipient of a gratuitous permit issued by the provincial government thru the governor in previous dispensation. But this (copy of said permit) was lost somewhere when a flood hit the town sometime in 2014.
And he admitted during the radio interview that the quarry operation has no permit.
“However, I would like to make it clear that at the time of the apprehension, LGU Loboc has an on-going project in Tigbao relative to its road rehabilitation and widening project certified as urgent,” the mayor said.
He said that Loboc has applied in 2017 for quarry permit, stressing “with the intent to apply for a quarry permit with the project site at Bonbon Upper, Loboc, Bohol.”
His letter to BEPTF concluded with the assurance that this town “will always comply and abide with the laws and legal orders of government authorities.” (rvo)