Cancellation of Mining Lease Contract: A Question of Fact

As the Supreme Court are not a trier of facts, it need not make any finding on the various investigations done by the MGB and MAB on the issue of Macroasia's non-compliance with its work obligations and nonpayment of taxes and fees. Verily, the law does not impose automatic cancellation of an existing mining lease contract, as it is a question of fact which must be determined by the MGB which can recommend the cancellation of the mineral or lease agreements to the DENR Secretary. Be that as it may, since the POA and MAB have no jurisdiction over the petition for cancellation of existing mining lease contracts of Macroasia, they could not have made any binding pronouncement that Macroasia had indeed abandoned the subject mining claims. Besides, it is the DENR Secretary who has the authority to cancel Macroasia's existing mining lease contracts whether on grounds of abandonment or any valid grounds for cancellation. (G.R. No. 169080; December 19, 2007)