Living Laudato Si’ Philippines expresses grave concern that despite massive resistance from the people of Sibuyan in Romblon, trucks containing nickel ore still attempted to enter the private port built by Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC). It is alarming how the authorities turned a deaf ear to the plea of Sibuyanons and even reacted in a provocative position. Local residents formed a barricade to block the mining company, but were confronted by police officers in full protective gears.
It’s shameful and reprehensible to see these activities continue to penetrate the Island even if the mining company failed to show relevant legal documents such as the Barangay clearance and permit from the local government. Altai Mining has conveyed its desire to help the economy of Sibuyan, but on the contrary and with what we witness on the ground, it stands in defiance to the will of the local residents and shows deliberate intent to desecrate their local culture and the ecosystems for profit.
In a time when the rights of the people are deprived by some elements, we wish to remind our civil authorities of their constitutional mandate “to serve and protect the people,” (Art.II Sec.4) and choose the people’s welfare over selfish interests of select individuals and institutions.
Meanwhile, we commend the people of Sibuyan, who at the moment hold a peaceful protest to save their home. Together with all who continue to defend the rights of nature, we cry with one voice, STOP MINING IN SIBUYAN!