Gatchalians behind Sibuyan mining ops?

Militant group Alyansa Tigil Mina on Monday bared that “Plastics King” William Gatchalian is the one behind the questionable mining operations of the Atlai Philippines Mining Corp.

The ATM alleges that the Gatchalians own APMC. They claim that Gatchalian’s involvement in the mining company is through his son Kenneth, who is also a director of APMC’s parent firm.

The group provided the Daily Tribune some documents showing that Kenneth Gatchalian sits as chairman of Wellex Mining Corp., one of the 23 mining firms ordered closed in February 2017 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources under then Secretary Regina Lopez.

The ATM also said Kenneth Gatchalian is the direct beneficiary of Dynamo Atlantic Ltd. that acquired Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Corp., partner of Altai Philippines Mining Corp. whose president is a former official of the Wellex Group.

Kenneth Gatchalian is the brother of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who was recently appointed Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

Operations ceased

Over the weekend, the DENR had ordered APMC to cease its operations in Romblon due to lack of permits.

The department issued the order stopping the mining company’s operations on Saturday after Sibuyan residents clashed with police to halt APMC’s mining activities in their community.

According to a notice of violation issued by the DENR-Mimaropa Environment Bureau, Altai Philippines Mining Corporation had violated the implementing rules and regulations of the Water Code of the Philippines

The DENR alleged that APMC did not have a foreshore lease agreement for a pier, had built a causeway without securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate, and had cut down trees without a permit.

Edjen Oliquino

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