BY AARON MACARAEG Bulatlat.com MANILA– Local environmental group Kalikasan- People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE) lambasted on Thursday the illegal shipment of fuel for the continuing operation of Oceanagold mining company. The fuel tankers were escorted reportedly by about 100 elements of the Kasibu Municipal Police. This was the second time it happened after the…
The Center for Environment Concerns – Philippines (CEC) recognized the valiant environment defenders who put their lives on the line against large-scale mining. They include the late Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez, residents of Didipio in Nueva Vizcaya and community organizers.
Ever since Duterte declared the longest standing COVID-19 lockdown in the world back in March 15, 2020 up to the present, we have monitored at least 555 environmental defenders who have suffered human rights abuses.
“It is infuriating that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has done more to care for large-scale mining corporations than to respond to the millions of Filipinos becoming increasingly facing starvation, police brutality, and unchecked contamination of the COVID-19 virus.”
With no substantive discussion on the broad array of Oceanagold’s rights violations of commission, omission, and lack of due diligence, the hearing resulted in a sham proceeding that served as nothing but the latest stunt of Oceanagold to worm out of its track record of violations and injustices. It became their platform to call for the renewal of its Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement, which expired eight months ago and its renewal challenged precisely because of the mine’s plethora of violations.
“We challenge the Duterte government to follow suit by rejecting Oceanagold’s contract renewal with finality and returning the mineralized lands to the indigenous communities who rightfully own the land.”
“We could say that Oceanagold really crippled our livelihood.”
“For 25 years, Oceanagold was like a never-ending storm that has lashed at us.”
“The ecological agriculture that landless farm workers have painstakingly carved out of the vast monoculture plantations of Negros sugar barons have been irrigated with blood and bullets.”
“…[t]hese potentials are being challenged by different environmentally destructive projects and interventions and intensified extraction of natural and mineral resources. Our sovereignty over our natural resources is being bastardized. “
“The ongoing barricade by the affected citizens in Nueva Vizcaya echoes the battle that we’ve been long fighting. We want them gone and be held liable for their atrocities…”