MANILA- Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on Thursday maintained that she observed due process in conducting the mining audit which led to her decision to suspend or close 28 mines.
“The mining audit done by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources meticulously observed due process,” Lopez said in a statement.
Lopez insisted that the teams who conducted the first mining audit last year were well-represented from the different bureaus of her department, from other concerned government agencies, the Social Action Center of the local parishes, and civil society organizations.
“Technical experts from the different government offices who have been invited to conduct the audit all abide in the standards of truth, service, and the common good. This means they knew what they were doing and have followed the due legal process,” she said, noting that she personally visited the mines and talked to locals before making the decision.
On Thursday night, the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) said it would create a "multi-stakeholder review which will "review and advise the DENR on the performance of existing mining operations in consultation with local government units."
Lopez said she gave mining companies 7 days to respond to the audit results which was followed by “further review” by a technical committee before releasing results.
“I personally visited the mines myself, talked to the people and then decided in the context of the common good. We followed all necessary procedures and there are documents to show,” she said.