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Sallador, Louie John S.

11688068 GG02

LA BUGAL BLAAN TRIBAL ASSOCIATION INC., et. al. v.


VICTOR O. RAMOS, Secretary Department of Environment and Natural Resources;
HORACIO RAMOS, Director, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-DENR); RUBEN
TORRES
G.R. No. 127882, 27 January 2004,
P :(Carpio-Morales, J.)

Facts:
On April 9, 1995 R.A. 7942 (the Philippine Mining Act) during the term of
President Ramos took effect. The President also signed a Financial and Technical
Assistance Agreement with Western Mining Corporation Philippines (WMCP) that
covers 10,000 hectares of land in South and North Cotabato, Sultan Kudara and Davao
Del Sur.
On August 15, 1995 Victor Ramos the Environment Secretary issued
Administrative Order 95-23 but was repealed by Administrative order 96-40. By January
12 WMCP bought WMCs share in Sagittarius mines an Australian mining and
exploration company. The DENR approved the deal between the two. During the Term
of President Cory Aquino she Issued E.O. 279 that authorizes the DENR to accept and
evaluate proposals from Foreign owned corporation or foreign investors for contracts
and agreements involving technical, financial assistance for large scale exploration in
the Philippines.
The Petitioners prayed that the implementation of R.A. 7942 must be declared
unconstitutional for they allow foreign owned corporations to exploit Philippine mineral
resources. The WMCP opposed by saying that my declaring R.A. 7942 it will violate the
treaty between the Philippines and Australia that provides for the protection of Australian
Investments made in the Philippines.
Issues:

1. W/N R.A. 7942 is unconstitutional for allowing foreign owned corporations to


exploit the Mining resources of the Philippines.

Held:
R.A. 7942 is unconstitutional for permitting fully foreign owned corporations to
exploit Philippine mining/natural resources. According to article 12 section 2 of the 1987
constitution: All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other
minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries,
forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the
State followed by: exploration and development and utilization of natural resources
shall be under the full control and supervision of the state. The 1987 constitution no
longer grants licenses, leases for the exploration, development and utilization of natural
resources.
The Provision which allows the president to enter into F.T.A.A.s is and exception
to the rule that participation in the development and exploration of natural resources is
exclusively for the Filipinos but such provision must be constructed against the
enjoyment of foreign owned corporations.
R.A. 7942 is unconstitutional for it conveyed ownership over the nations mineral
resources to foreign contractors leaving nothing to the state and its citizens. In Article 12
section 2 of the 1987 constitution it states that: foreign corporations are limited only to
technical or financial assistance to the state for large scale exploration, development
and utilization of minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils.