MANILA Feb 14 Philippine Environment and
Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez said on Tuesday that
courts cannot halt her orders to shut more than half of the
country's mines, as affected miners prepare to take legal
"There is no TRO (temporary restraining order) that holds
function in the case of environment enforcement," Lopez told a
"You can't have a TRO. We are protecting the environment and
you can't stop us from protecting the environment."
Lopez on Feb. 2 ordered the closure of 23 of the
Philippines' 41 mines for causing damage to watersheds and
siltation of coastal waters and farmlands. Another five mines
She expanded the crackdown earlier on Tuesday, ordering the
cancellation of 75 mining contracts, which she said are all in
watershed zones, with many in the exploration stage.
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. and Karen Lema; Editing by