Police to tag brgy chief to illegal quarrying


ROXAS City — Authorities in Ivisan, Capiz plan to include the Balaring barangay captain as one of the accused of illegal sand quarrying in the town.

Insp. William Limjuco, Ivisan police chief, said Balaring Barangay Captain Paterno Untayao, along with seven others, can be a suspect in the illegal sand quarrying.

Last week, seven persons were arrested and charged by authorities for illegally quarrying white sand from a beach in Ivisan.

Charged for violation of Republic Act 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Law, were:

* Roger Balbares
* Eustaquio Balbona
* Jay Unarce
* Jilland Agoncillo
* Christian Baldesimo, and
* Civilian Volunteer Organization members Larry Isiderio and Thomas Olampong.

They pointed Untayao as the one who told them to get the sand in Sitio Nailong, Brgy. Balaring, Ivisan.

Untayao ordered them to gather 200 sacks of white sand, which will be sold to a businessman at P750 per sack, the suspects told the police.

But Untayao said the proceeds in selling the sand will be used to maintain farm-to-market roads in the barangay left unattended by the government due to lack of funds.

Gov. Victor Tanco even permitted the quarrying, Untayao added.

But Tanco over a radio interview denied simply permitting the quarry operation.

He said he advised Provincial Engineer Edgar Agana to allow them to quarry as long as they have completed the requirements mandated by the Mining Law.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Provincial Engineer’s Office prohibit sand quarrying, particularly along beaches.

The issue was tainted with politics, according to a source.

It can be recalled that Ivisan Mayor Felipe Neri Yap has been a staunch political rival of Untayao’s elder brother, Hilario Untayao.

Hilario ran and lost twice for mayor of Ivisan in the 2007 and 2010 elections.

During the last May 10, 2010 elections, the older Untayao ran under the Liberal Party./PN

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