In a decision issued on March 8, 2017, the Philippine Court of Appeals (CA) denied the petition by NGO Ang Aroroy ay Alagaan, Inc. and certain individuals, for the issuance of a writ of kalikasan against Filminera Resources Corporation, and its directors and officers. The petitioners have claimed that Filminera, which operates in the Philippine province of Masbate, had been causing environmental damage in the conduct of its mining operations in violation of local law, and that a writ of kalikasan should be issued.
The ruling is an interesting development in the current legal milieu in the Philippines for mining, where the administration has strongly expressed pro-environment policies and there has been a recent push to audit and close mining companies.
The decision is not yet final and may be appealed by the parties. SyCipLaw represented Filminera with the team composed of partners Rolando V. Medalla, Jr., Ramon G. Songco, Ronald Mark C. Lleno, and associates Mary Gladys Stephanie G. Consunji, Bennet A. Gubat, John Paul R. Rotap, April Gayle U. Soller, Loubelle L. Razon, and Jo Margarette W. Remollo.