TVI Pacific’s Philippines affiliate TVI Resource Development has claimed its first win in the fight to overturn a government ban on open-pit mining in the Philippines’ Zamboanga del Norte province, with a preliminary injunction granted. The court order stops the implementation of the ordinance and allows TVI to continue its operations without legal impediment while the main case to argue the legality of the ban is in court.
The court said TVI was entitled to an injunction because it would suffer grave and irreparable damage and injury if the ordinance was to be implemented.
“This is excellent news for all TVI stakeholders,” says TVI Pacific’s president Cliff James. “We strongly believe the powers to be assumed by the province under the ordinance, and by the Provincial Governor of Zamboanga del Norte, are unconstitutional. While the court order allows TVIRD to continue its operations in Canatuan unimpeded, we will continue to relentlessly pursue ultimate relief from what we view as an unconstitutional local legislation.”
The company launched the injunction in November 2011, citing it as ‘unconstitutional and invalid’, arguing the ordinance violates the due process, equal protection and non-impairment of contracts clauses in the 1987 Constitution.
TVI’s legal advice confirmed the ordinance is contrary to the applicable provisions of the Local Government Code and the Mining Act, and runs counter to the public policies espoused in these laws. A lengthy hearing process on the legality of the proposed ban will now begin.