Duterte replaces environment official in charge of mining audit

MANILA, Philippines – Environment Undersecretary Leo Jasareno, who headed the mining audit team of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has been replaced, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed to Rappler on Tuesday, October 11.

According to Medialdea, the Office of the President sent the appointment letter of Wifredo Moncano – regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Davao Region since 2015 – last week.

"Pursuant to the provisions of existing laws, you are hereby appointed Acting Director IV, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, vice Leo L. Jasareno," read the appointment letter dated September 28 and posted on the MGB's website.

It added: "By the virtue hereof, you may qualify and enter upon the performance of the duties of the office."

The office of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez was also notified of the appointment made by President Rodrigo Duterte on the same day.

According to the MGB, Moncano has already taken his oath of office but will remain regional director for the meantime. Meanwhile, Mario Luis Jacinto is still environment undersecretary and concurrent MGB director.

In a BusinessWorld report, Jasareno confirmed he no longer holds a government position. The same report said Lopez has sent a letter to the Office of the President recommending that Jasareno hold a position at the DENR.

Jasareno headed the DENR's mining audit, which saw the suspension of 10 mining firms. Twenty more mining companies were also recommended for suspension. – with a report from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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