Public prosecutors to probe DENR Usec over Canadian garbage named
A panel of prosecutors on Wednesday was created to conduct preliminary investigation into the formal charges lodged against an undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and several others for their alleged complicity in the entry of tons of garbage from Canada in 2013 and 2014.
The prosecutors are Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra, Alejandro Daguiso, and Loberhette Jeffrey Villordon.
Charged by the National Bureau of Investigation before the Department of Justice were Environment Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna, three
Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) officers, and four Bureau of Customs employees for violation of the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.
Records showed that from May 2013 and January 2014, Canadian company Chronic Inc. shipped 103 container vans to the Philippines which were mislabeled as “plastic scrap”.
However, the shipments were discovered to be “used mixed/unsorted/heterogeneous plastic materials.”
In the complaint, the NBI claimed the EMB officers allegedly cleared the shipments for importation despite insufficient information, and without the required prior inspection.
On the other hand, the respondent-Customs personnel allegedly facilitated the release of the shipment despite questionable importation documentation.
“The issuance of Registry Certificate and numerous Importation Clearance in favor of Chronic Plastics gave it unwarranted benefits as it was able to import scrap plastic materials without the EMB’s conduct of strict evaluation and scrutiny on its application,” the NBI said.
“As per available records, Chronic Plastics was able to import scrap plastic materials which turned out to be hazardous. Had these EMB personnel exercised due diligence in evaluating the application of Chronic, the entry of such hazardous wastes could have been avoided,” it added.
Aside from Cuna, charged were DENR-EMB personnel Irvin Cadavona, Geri Geronimo Sanez, and Renato Cruz.
Also sued were Customs workers namely Benjamin Perez Jr., Eufracio Ednaco, Matilda Bacongan, and Jose Saromo.