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Probe pressed on mining linked to Noynoy



“Then DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes issued a cease and desist order against SR Metals Inc.

The Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to investigate a mining firm allegedly identified with former president Noynoy Aquino III for non-payment of taxes.

In a letter to BIR chief Caesar R. Dulay, DENR asked that mining firm SR Metals Inc.

(SRMI) be probed over its alleged failure to settle its tax liabilities.

DENR revealed SRMI was found by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to have exceeded the 50,000-ton allowed annual volume for a small-scale miner, an offense for which then DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against the firm.

BIR “must look into the tax liabilities of SRMI and its affiliates for failing to pay or remit to BIR the tax due from the 5 percent of the gross proceeds amounting to millions of pesos,” said lawyer Analiza Rebuelta-Teh.

Teh is DENR undersecretary for climate change service and mining concerns.

She cited a complaint forwarded to DENR by Rodney O. Basiana of Basiana Mining Exploration Corp. (BMEC) against SMRI.

In his letter-complaint to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, Basiana alleged that SRMI began its operations in 2006 and used the documents of BMEC under which Tubay Exploration was assigned to go into operations in the guise of small-scale mining, with a 50,000-ton limit on yearly ore extraction.

The firm was found to have used a copy of the official receipt for P5,520 that BMEC paid for in its application for a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSAI) in 1997 with the MGB.

But the small-scale mining operation in just one year sold P2.8 billion exceeding the yearly 50,000-ton limit many times over.

A decade after, it had realized over P28 billion in revenues from nickel ore shipments to China, as records of the Philippine Ports Authority and MGB would show.