By Edwin Iyo
MISAMIS Oriental Vice Gov. Jose Mari Pelaez pointed out that local executives have police power over their jurisdiction and Balingasag mayor Marietta Abogado should use this to go after the alleged illegal quarry operations in her town.
Pelaez added the illegal quarrying issue in Balingasag can be resolved at the town level.
“Kinahanglan iyang gamiton iyang police power,” said Pelaez.
The vice governor’s challenge to Abogado in a response to reports of alleged illegal quarrying operations in Balatukan River in Balingasag.
It can be recalled that Abogado called the attention of the office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to conduct an investigation on the matter.
Abogado also asked the capitol for appropriate action against the illegal quarrying activities.
For his part, Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano said there is no need to elevate the matter to the provincial level much less to the regional office of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.
“Sila dapat mag una. Labi na ang barangay kung asa dapit nahimutang ang illegal quarry. Naa sila katungod sa paghimo pagpaundang sa mga illegal kay naa sa ilang tungod ug naa sa ilang lugar,” Emano pointed out.
At least six big players have been allegedly operating along Balatukan River, as confirmed by Karen Sabuga-a, head of Balingasag’s Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Unit.