Residents set up a barricade to demand an immediate halt of Ipilan Nickel Corporation’s mining operations in Brooke’s Point town, Palawan on February 18.
Jean Feliciano, the town’s vice mayor, said the residents have “no recourse but to organize a barricade since the mining company continues to operate” even after the local chief executive issued a stoppage order.
“The people themselves are organizing the action to fight for their welfare. We are thankful to the residents of Brooke’s Point who are willing to make sacrifices to protect our natural resources, livelihoods and our future,” said Feliciano.
The Office of the Mayor on February 6, ordered the mining company to stop operations due to lack of necessary permits from the local government unit.
Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, said the mining company “is in effect undermining the autonomy of the local government and clearly violating the law.”
He cited the anti-mining struggle in Sibuyan island in Romblon province where the mining company last week was ordered to cease operations due to several environmental violations and lack of permits, following a successful protest action of the residents who formed a human barricade.
Resident Nelson Sombra of Maasin village said it is time for the people of Brooke’s Point to “help our town” against the mining company. “Not only are our IP laws being violated, the welfare of the people are also disregarded. So, we have to show the public that we are against mining and that we do not consent to what they are doing,” he said.
*Featured photo by Magie Calderon