Solmirano, ex-PDI bureau chief dies; 70

LEGAZPI CITY—Floreño Solmirano, former bureau chief of the Inquirer Southern Luzon, died of cardiac arrest on Monday night. He was 70. Solmirano, who started as an Inquirer correspondent in Bicol, was among the pioneers who set up in 1998 the bureau, which covers Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) and Bicol regions. He served as its chief for 13 years until his retirement in 2011. After his stint in the Inquirer, Solmirano, a native of Marinduque province, served as bureau chief of the Philippine…

New DENR secretary brands open-pit mining as ‘madness’

The incoming Cabinet official in charge of Philippine mining has slammed the use of open pits to extract minerals, describing it as “madness” even to consider the method in the resource-rich country because of the environmental impact. The stance by Regina Lopez, an environmentalist who on Tuesday accepted President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, could set her on a collision course with the mining industry. “Open-pit mining as in the use of explosives is horrific for the environment. It’s a cheap way to…