Saturday, October 27, 2012

Espino condemned anew on black sand mining, RPT increase

Gov. Amado T. Espino (2nd from Left)

The controversies earlier set off by the alleged black sand mining in the Lingayen Gulf and the “grossly scandalous” Real Property Tax increases which hounded the administration of Governor Amado T. Espino have once again taken center stage. Sparking anew the controversies like wild fire were the recent exposé on black sand mining in San Fabian, the supposed rally conducted by students of the College Guild of the Philippines in “black sand area” in Lingayen and the tagging of Espino by his arc critic and gubernatorial opponent as “smuggler.” During last Thursday’s KBP Forum here, Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza lashed out at Gov. Espino for the illegal transport of black sand in Lingayen and his alleged involvement in the supposed recent operation of illegal mining of black sand in San Fabian. “The governor is not just a simple law breaker (for allowing illegal mining), he is also a smuggler, kasi nawawala yong blacksand. How can you transport the black sand without a permit?” the mayor said referring to the mountain-like pile of black sand in three coastal barangays in the western part of Lingayen which according to reports are being transported in the wee hours of the morning. Braganza added that “we have seen posters of the governor spread in the province saying “protektahan ang kalikasan” pero bakit he authorized black sand mining in Lingayen and in San Fabian, which is not only environmentally destructive but also deprives our fishermen of their only means of livelihood?” He said it is the governor of the province who is empowered by law to issue or recall mining permits. The provincial government has denied operation of black sand mining in Lingayen, saying only land development in preparation for an eco-tourism zone and golf course is being carried out in the area. On the same media forum, Braganza bared that the Liberal Party may lead in petitioning the court for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order on what he called illegal imposition of excessive Real Property Taxes in the province. Braganza said the RPT increase ranging as high as 300 percent was way beyond the limit allowed by the law and the ordinance that effected it was approved without the benefit of a public consultation. He said “Espino is not only a law-breaker but is looking for ways and means para mabayaran po niya ang mga loan ng probinsya secured during his term.”

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