The recent news about the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between ‘Sibuyan-CSO MASIKAP’ groups and Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) has caused concern among various groups and individuals in Sibuyan. According to the press conference, the memorandum pledges the groups to help the mining company disseminate information about mining and implement projects such as hospitals and livelihood options in the region. However, members of these organizations mentioned have raised doubts about the legitimacy of their representation.
It is important for the people of Sibuyan to be aware of the deception that is taking place. The claim that Sibuyanons favor mining is simply not true. In fact, the majority of the community is against mining due to its negative impact on the environment and their way of life. The ‘Sibuyan-CSO MASIKAP’ groups that have signed this agreement with APMC do not represent the voice of the people, but rather their own interests.
Furthermore, it is important to hold these groups accountable for their actions. The signing of this memorandum of cooperation is a betrayal of the community’s trust and undermines sustainable development and environmental conservation efforts in Sibuyan. Instead of working towards the well-being of the people and the environment, these groups have aligned themselves with a mining corporation whose interests are diametrically opposed to those of the community.
The people of Sibuyan must remain vigilant and pressure the ‘Sibuyan-CSO MASIKAP’ groups to be transparent and accountable. Mining is a highly divisive issue that has far-reaching consequences for the community and the environment. The people of Sibuyan deserve to have their voices heard and their interests protected. The signing of this memorandum of cooperation is not a reflection of their wishes and should be treated with caution and skepticism.
The municipal councils in Sibuyan must urgently conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation to shed light on this matter and make appropriate action to avoid further unrest and disinformation. We urge the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) national office to conduct a community dialogue to know and identify real stakeholders and sentiments.
-SAVE SIBUYAN, TIKOP SIBUYAN Steering Committee