The residents and local government of Brooke’s Point, Palawan called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to immediately issue a Cease and Desist Order against Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) for continuing to operate without a Mayor’s Permit and a Certificate Precondition (CP).
Job Lagrada, leader of the demonstrators barricading in the area, said “the DENR must take action on the violations of the Ipilan Nickel and hold the mining firm accountable by issuing a Cease and Desist Order.”
Municipal Mayor Cesareo R. Benedito , Jr. said that Ipilan Nickel has been “blatantly disrespecting the law by ignoring the order of the Office of the Mayor to stop operations.”
Meanwhile, Indigenous Peoples (IP) Leader Nelson Sombra said that the mining firm is also disregarding the IPRA law because it has not at all secured a Certificate Precondition from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). “Patuloy ang operasyon ng pagmimina kahit walang pahintulot ng mga katutubo. Ang totoo, di sila nagbibigay ng konsiderasyon sa palagay at kalooban ng mga IPs. (“It operates without the required consent of indigenous groups. Clearly, it gives no consideration to the sentiments and will of the IPs.”)
Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, said that “ATM fully supports the legitimate and just demand of the people of Brooke’s Point not to allow destructive mining in their area.” He added that the “DENR should likewise heed the people’s demands and act accordingly. A Cease and Desist order is the immediate action for the DENR to take.”
According to Atty. Atty Wy of Environment Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), the group is prepared to “take legal actions against INC if the mining company persists on violating the law and harming the environment.”
Vice Mayor Jean Feliciano said: “I support the call of the people of Brooke’s Point. The only action that can prevent the destruction of the environment and the suffering or the people is for DENR Sec. Loyzaga to ultimately cancel INC’s MPSA. Definitely, the preservation of our natural forests and the protection of our watersheds cannot be compromised.”