Tulfo’s sources may be the ‘mineral thieves’
This is in reaction to Ramon Tulfo’s June 6 and June 11 columns in the Metro section of this paper, specifically his mention of my company and my principal investor.
Firstly, the company is not Investwell Minerals Development Corp., it is Investwell Resources Inc. (IRI) and it has no issues with the government.
Secondly, it is very unfair to impute wrongdoing to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Leo Jasareno. Their approval of the Deed of Assignment of Tran-Asia’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) to IRI was practically a ministerial function under Section 30 of Republic Act No. 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995). Even then, our company went through a lot of screening and validation work. The Deed of Assignment was submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for approval on Nov. 8, 2011, and it took the department more than 14 months to approve it. (The DENR is allotted 30 working days only to complete the approval process for such documents.)
Secondly, the MPSA is only one of the major requirements that form the legal basis for large-scale mining operations. Aside from the MPSA, there is the Environmental Clearance Certificate, the rigorous checking by various DENR units and the strict examination by very independent, critical and even hostile members of an interagency review committee of all our technical, financial and socioeconomic impact and feasibility studies before we are even allowed to proceed with our operations.
Thirdly, Yii Ann Hii was never banned by then Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo from operating a mine in Bicol.
Fourthly, the Mimaropa issue in 2009 may refer to attempts of reviving mining in Marinduque. After spending tens of millions of pesos on road improvements and on facilities, Hii found himself in the middle of a running feud between factions of the island’s ruling political family. He had to abort things. There was no mining done, no iron ore shipped out and, certainly, no “theft of minerals.”
Tulfo is obviously being fed information by very biased sources. I believe that they are the persons who made money on hapless foreign investors and are at odds with practically all mining companies and prospectors in Camarines Norte because of their adverse claims on practically all mining properties.
“Theft of minerals,” is their favorite catchphrase. But it seems that they are the real thieves because they have forcibly displaced Chinese businessmen who have invested hundreds of millions of pesos in a mining company. If my suspicions are right, they should be the ones to be investigated for illegal and criminal acts.
On the other hand, biased as I may be, I see that my principal investor is the real victim here. After having spent tens of millions of dollars in search of good mining properties around the country and trying to develop these properties despite having paid the “tuition” to fraudsters and “paper miners,” he is now the one being pilloried by them.
I do hope Tulfo would take a harder look at his sources of information.
—ALLAN L. YAP,
president and CEO,
Investwell Resources Inc.
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