By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Provincial Legal Office head, Atty. Jose Maria Valencia, yesterday announced his office filed falsification of public documents charges against Kabankalan City quarry operator Melvin Ibañez on allegations of issuing fake quarry coupons, which were used for the extraction and delivery of sand and gravel by private operators.
The provincial official said charges were filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office earlier this week.
Valencia said he also endorsed affidavits submitted against the quarry operator.
Reports have also surfaced that Ibañez visited the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol for a possible settlement; however, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. earlier stated any settlement would be rejected and that Ibañez must pay the P45 million he owes in penalties after committing 3,049 tax ordinance violations.
“Either he pays or he goes in prison,” the governor affirmed.
The quarry operator earlier called on Marañon to intervene on the matter, noting the cease and desist order issued by the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), after he was found guilty of providing fake quarry coupons, was disrupting operations at his quarry, resulting in a substantial loss of income.
PEMO recently denied an appeal filed by Ibañez./DGB, WDJ