27 October 2023
Environmental group condemns violent dispersal of anti-mining protesters in Palawan, calls for end to ‘illegal’ mining
Environmental group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) condemned the recent violent dispersal of advocates protesting against mining operations in Brooke’s Point, Palawan, and expressed its support in the demand to immediately and permanently suspend Ipilan Nickel Corporation’s (INC) “illegal” mining operations.
The dispersal occurred when anti-mining protesters trooped in front of Ipilan Nickel Corporation mine compound with the intention of enforcing the cease and desist orders issued by the local government unit of Brooke’s Point and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) – MIMAROPA. Protesters attempted to build a fence to halt trucks from entering, but the security guards blocked the protesters from setting up the fence, resulting in a scuffle between the two that caused minor injuries on both parties.
“INC’s ignorance to the rule of law is a slap in the face to the people of Palawan,” said Jon Bonifacio, National Coordinator of Kalikasan PNE. “The company has been repeatedly cited for violating the law, including operating beyond the validity of its mining production sharing agreement (MPSA) and without a Certificate Precondition from the NCIP.”
The nickel mining operations of INC have long been opposed by local residents, including indigenous people, in the area. Last August, the Supreme Court issued a writ of kalikasan against Ipilan Nickel Corporation, though the prayer for the temporary environmental protection order was rejected.
Kalikasan PNE noted that the dispersal incident adds to a “growing list” of similar violent acts carried out by mining companies “with impunity” under the Marcos Jr. administration, citing the similar violence seen in the case of Sibuyan island residents and Altai Philippines Mining Corporation last February.
“The Marcos Jr. administration must take immediate action to permanently halt INC’s illegal mining operations and protect the rights of the residents of Brooke’s Point,” Bonifacio said. “We also call on the authorities to investigate and prosecute INC for its use of violence against the residents.” #
Jon Bonifacio / National Coordinator, Kalikasan PNE
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