Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Groups support refiling of suit vs Marcopper

Reopening of case in Canada draws backing, but LGU, civil society split on choice of law firm




By Maricar Cinco, Inquirer


Marcopper’s open pit at Mt. Tapian in Marinduque, as shown in a photograph in 2010, taken 14 years after the country’s worst mining disaster. —INQUIRER PHOTO
A plan to pursue the multimillion-dollar suit against a global mining firm gained the support of the Catholic Church and civil society groups in Marinduque province to recover the cost of damage left by the 1996 mine tailings spill, tagged as the worst mining tragedy in the Philippines.

The provincial board of Marinduque, in June, issued a resolution to refile the case in a Canadian court against the Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp., the company that absorbed Placer Dome, the parent company of the defunct Marcopper Mining Corp.

In 1996, one of Marcopper’s drainage tunnels gave way, unleashing about 200 million tons of tailings into Boac River. Traces of mine wastes are still visible in the water today.

The Marinduque provincial government, in 2005, filed a $100-million class suit against the mining company at the Nevada district court in the United States.

But after 10 years of court proceedings, the Nevada State Supreme Court threw out the case for forum non conveniens, meaning the US was a wrong jurisdiction to hear it.

In 2014, Barrick Gold offered a $20-million settlement but the Marinduque provincial board turned it down after it felt that the amount was not enough to compensate for the environmental damage wrought by the mining disaster on the island.

While the decision to reopen the case in Canada drew support, various groups in the province were divided as to whether they would continue engaging the services of law firm, Diamond McCarthy.

The US-based firm originally represented the Marinduque government under a contingency arrangement, meaning it would be paid a fraction of whatever the court awards the province once a resolution or a settlement is reached.

In a letter on Oct. 13, Marinduque Gov. Carmencita Reyes asked the provincial board to grant her the authority to enter into another contract with the firm for the “immediate filing of suit” in British Columbia or Ontario.

Reyes also sought authority to sign an agreement with the New York-based Parabellum Capital LLC as a third party funder. The purpose of a funder is to shoulder the costs during litigation, she said.

But the Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (Macec) opposed Reyes’ move to continue engaging lawyers from Diamond McCarthy saying it is “unnecessary and costly.”

“We remain positive and we support the intention of the provincial government to refile the case in Canada, but we strongly oppose the continuous engagement of Diamond McCarthy … for the case,” it said.

Macec instead urged the provincial government to “directly engage the services of Canadian firms [or] lawyers for the case.”

In a telephone interview on Monday, former provincial board member and Macec mining committee head Adeline Angeles said Diamond McCarthy does not have a presence in Canada and it would need to hire lawyers from Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb, a Canadian firm.

In effect, “the province [will be] hiring multiple layers of lawyers [and] that is not only costly but unnecessary [because] that will significantly affect the final return or net recovery [for Marinduque],” she said.

“There are several other Canadian law firms that expressed interest [to represent Marinduque] and are amenable to a contingency arrangement,” Angeles said.

Boac Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit, in a letter to the provincial board, said he supported the case’s refiling but “clearly, the immediate signing of said proposal … without the necessary changes in favor of the province would be very disadvantageous.”

The provincial board, in a special session on Oct. 25, voted against authorizing Reyes to enter into the contracts. It has yet to reach a decision on the choice of a legal representative.

Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

Date and Time

Blog Archive

Total Pageviews

Popular Posts

Blog Log

Followers

Networked Blogs

Space Weather

Space Weather
What's up in space

Categories

Adeline Angeles ADVENTURE SERIES ALAIN MADRIGAL ALLAN VELASCO AMOINGON ARAW NG MARINDUQUE ARCHAEOLOGY Argao AWARENESS BAGTINGON Bahaghari BANTAY-KASO Barrick Gold BATTLE OF MASAGUISI BATTLE OF MORIONS BATTLE OF PAYE BATTLE OF PULANG LUPA Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit Jr Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista BOAC BOAC CATHEDRAL BUENAVISTA BULONG Bunganay BUTTERFLY CAPITOL BUILDING CAPITOL CHOIR Cardinal Ricardo Vidal CARMENCITA REYES CAWIT PORT CBCP CEMETERIO DE TAMPUS CENSORSHIP CHANGE CINEMALAYA CLIMATE CHANGE COA Report COLONIAL HOUSES Conflict CONG. LORD ALLAN VELASCO CORRUPTION CORY AQUINO Curt Shepard DISASTER DONA PAZ DPWH DR. ANTONIO UY DTI DUTERTE EARTHQUAKE ECO-TOURISM EDSA Elections 2010 Elections 2013 Elections 2016 ELI OBLIGACION ENVIRONMENT EVENTS EXTREME MARINDUQUE FEATURED SITES GALLEONS GASAN GASANG-GASANG FESTIVAL GASPAR ISLAND GOV. BONG CARRION Guisian HEALTH HERMENEGILDO FLORES Hinanggayon HINULUGAN FALLS HOBIE HOLY WEEK JOSE F. ALVAREZ JOSEPH EMIL BIGGEL Joseph Laban JR LABRADOR Kalesayahan KALUTANG KURAY LAYLAY LETTER TO GOVERNOR LONGHINO Lorna-Quinto Velasco LUBANG FAULT LUZON DATUM OF 1911 Mabusay Falls MACEC MALINDIG Maniwaya Marcopper MARELCO MARINDUQUE AIRPORT MARINDUQUE AKIN KA MARINDUQUE CULTURE MARINDUQUE ELECTIONS 2013 MARINDUQUE FIRST SATURDAY MOVERS MARINDUQUE HISTORY MARINDUQUE HISTORY CONFERENCE MARINDUQUE INFRA PROJECTS Marinduque Politics MARINDUQUE STATE COLLEGE MARINDUQUE TOURISM MARINDUQUE VIDEO MARTIN LARDIZABAL MAXIMO ABAD MIMAROPA MOGPOG MORIONES 2009 MORIONES FESTIVAL Moriones Festival '10 Moriones Festival '12 MORIONES FESTIVAL 08 MORIONES FESTIVAL 09 MORYONAN MSC SAMBAYANG SINING LAHI MUTYA NG MARINDUQUE Myke Magalang NCCA NORWEGIAN MISSION ALLIANCE PASTORES PASYONDULA PASSION PLAY Paye PEOPLE PERCIVAL MORALES PH HISTORY PHILIPPINE ARTS FESTIVAL Places PNP Poctoy Beach Pope Francis Pork Barrel POWER OUTAGE Pres. Benigno S. Aquino PRESIDENT DUTERTE Princess of the Stars PRRM PUTONG RAMON MADRIGAL Raymond Go ROBERTO MADLA Romulo Bacorro Russel Madrigal SAKAMAR SAN ISIDRO CAVE Sangguniang Panlalawigan Sawi Sayao Bay SCUBA DIVING SEA TRAVEL SCHEDULES SEAIR SENEN LIVELO Silangan South China Sea SPACE STA. CRUZ STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS STTC ASSEMBLY Susong Dalaga Hill TARUG CAVE TEATRO BALANGAW TEOFILO N. ROQUE TON MONTEAGUDO TORRIJOS TOTO NEPOMUCENO Treasure Hunt TRES REYES ISLANDS TRIVIA Tumagabok Falls TYPHOON "FRANK" TYPHOON "ONDOY" Typhoon NinaPH VERDE ISLAND PASSAGE Vicky Lao-Lim VIVA MARINDUQUE 2008 VIVA MARINDUQUE 2009 VIVA MARINDUQUE REPORT WALANG SUGAT WEEKLY MARINDUQUE WEN VELASCO WORLD WW2 WW3 YESHUA YOOK

Quick news, photos, videos, culture, tourism, history and all that there is on the island of Marinduque, Philippines. "VIVA MARINDUQUE!" www.marinduquegov.blogspot.com

Marinduque Rising | www.marinduquegov.blogspot.com | (c) 2007. Powered by Blogger.