Palawan indigenous people call for stop to Citinickel mines

Palaw'ans want stop to Citinickel mining (Photo courtesy of Balatik)
Palaw’ans want stop to Citinickel mining (Photo courtesy of Balatik)

“We are not after those promises anymore. We do not want them to pay us royalty taxes. We want them to stop their operations.”


The Palawan indigenous people are calling for a stop to the operations of the Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation in the island, saying that its five years of mining had “destroyed the environment, livelihood, health, and culture” of Palaw’ans.

Thousands of Palaw’ans protested on March 23 at the Freedom Park in the town of Sofronio Espanola, Palawan.

“We want them to stop their operations,” said Fermin Queron, secretary general of the indigenous organization Pinagtibukang Kaundang-undangan it Palaw’an (PKP).

“We want them and all other mining companies out of Palawan,” he said.

Citinickel’s operation started in 2010, with promises to give health, education and other social services, PKP said.

“After almost five years of operation, they did not provide educational, health, and other social services to us. They also promised clean water, electricity, and livelihood projects. But we did not get any of those,” said Queron.

“Since 2010, the operation of Citinickel destroyed the environment, our livelihood, health, and culture,” he said. He cited the continued poisoning of the Pulot River by chemicals from Citinickel.

“Because of this, we are being pushed deeper into poverty,” he said.

Queron said that the process of getting the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement violated the indigenous peoples’ rights. But Citinickel did not even fulfilled what was in the MOA, he said.

“They did not pay for the damages that they have caused our land, ancestral domain, rivers, and crops. They did not pay royalty taxes to us,” said Queron.

“But we are not after those promises anymore. We do not want them to pay us royalty taxes,” he added.

The Palaw’an group joined the call for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA), and called for the passage of the People’s Mining Bill. (

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  1. I’ve been there at Sofronio Espanola, Palawan since 2012 up to 2014. And in that 2 years, I haven’t found a single IP/natives being taken care of by Citinickel Mines. Even the salaries and bonuses of the people working for them from the locality are being held and not given promptly most of the time. I can see it because I have lived there and I witnessed all these.

    Citinickel literally EXPLOITED the NATURE and the PEOPLE of Sofronio Espanola, Palawan.

    Actually, the approval given by MBG last December 2014 should not have had happened if they were not defrauded by Citinickel. MGB actually taught that the one-hectare silting pond was actually being made, when in fact, operation continues even prior to their approval. So for me, there really is something “FISHY” happening between these government agencies–MGB and MMT and CITNICKEL. The question is– How much was in the bag for those few? Is it worth the exploitation of the nature and the people?

  2. This is sad. But they should complain to the National government in Manila where the idiot judge from a well known university approved the mining claims against a competitor. Mining is the worse invention of mankind next to war.
    People of Palawan should sue the mining corporations and government officials including the governor Palawan in the international court of justice.

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