Residents call for a Mining-Free Brooke’s Point, Palawan

Earlier today, over 1000 residents joined a motorcade around Brooke’s Point town today, a day after the Global Day of Action against Mining, to protest the large-scale, destructive mining operations of Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) in their municipality. The protests have intensified, since the reinstatement of INC’s mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) until 2025 without public consultation, and the recent issuance of Executive Order 130, which reallows new mining contracts. 

Residents call for a Mining-Free Brooke’s Point, Palawan
Concerned Brooke’s Point residents representing key sectors in the municipality converged in a press conference to express their stand against mining – farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, women, faith-based groups, and the youth – and revive their No2Mining campaign today, July 23, 2021.

In the press conference, after the motorcade, concerned citizens of Brooke’s Point today, launched a petition to say No to Mining in Brooke’s Point, Yes to Life: “Kaming mga mamamayan ng Bayan na ito ay naniniwalang kaya naming patanitilihing first class ang aming munisipyo at kaya pa naming mas lalong umunlad ng wala ang pagmimina sa bayang ito. ANG BROOKE’S POINT AY MANANATILING CLEAN, GREEN, BEAUTIFUL, SUSTAINABLE at MINING-FREE.”

In the press conference, Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative for Brooke’s Point Victoriano Colili said that the INC has not received consent from indigenous peoples, as the mining site falls within the Pala’wan ancestral domain. “Taliwas ito sa polisiya ng pamahalaan na dapat walang anumang proyekto, programa at gawain na ipatutupad sa loob ng lupaing ninuno ng hindi dumadaan sa proseso ng Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)”. Ito ay tahasang paglabag at palapastangan sa karapatan ng mga katutubo na nakasaad sa Indigenous Peoples Rights Act,” said Colili. 

Farmers and fisherfolk reiterated that the health of their people comes from healthy watersheds that supply clean water to their rice granaries, downstream areas, and clean oceans that are valuable sources of food. “Bilang kumakatawan sa sektor ng magsasaka, ay tinututulan namin ng pagmimina sa kadahilanan na ang pagsasaka ang aming ikinabubuhay diyan kami kumikita, diyan kami nabubuhay at iyan din ang ipapamana namin sa aming mga apo,” said Joel D. Luagna, representing the farming sector. “May kakulangan sa bigas – paano matutugunan ang kakulangan sa bigas kung miminahin ang ating lugar?” He added.

Residents call for a Mining-Free Brooke’s Point, Palawan
Indigenous Pala’wan women take a stand against mining in their ancestral domain!

“Sa aming kalikasan at lupaing ninuno, dito nakasalalay ang aming buhay at buhay ng aming mga anak hanggang sa susunod na henerasyon.. Hindi mina ang buhay namin.” said Norima Mablon from Pala’wan women’s group Mga Kalebonan et BICAMM (MKE-BICAMM). 

Residents have also circulated a petition addressed to the Office of the Ombudsman, to reverse the decision to suspend Mayor Feliciano last June. The petition has since gained 12,000+ signatures from Brooke’s Point Palawenyos who continue to stand against mining, and the local government of Brooke’s Point, led by Mayor Feliciano.

Residents call for a Mining-Free Brooke’s Point, Palawan
Mayor Jean Feliciano echoed her constituents’ calls for a clean, green, mining-free Brooke’s Point, amidst the threats of climate change and extreme floods, landslides brought by large scale mining operations. “Sa Brooke’s Point, inclusive. Lahat umuunlad. Sa pagmimina, kaunti lang ang uunlad,” said Mayor Feliciano.

Pastor Job Lagrada, from the faith-based sectors, said, “Ang kalusugan ng mamamayan, hayop, karagatan, lahat ng nilalang ay nagmumula sa mayabong na kalikasan sa Brooke’s Point.”

Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, of the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) and co-convenor of the Save Palawan Movement shared that the broader No2Mining in Palawan campaign will be revived, given the alarming influx of large scale mining. 

Youth leader, Ireneo Maestrecampo, called on government officials and the President to listen to the voice of the youth: “Sa Office of the Ombudsman, kay Pangulong Duterte, patuloy kaming kumakatok sa iyong puso, kaming kabataan na future ng Brooke’s Point at mamumuno at maninirahan dito – tinuruan kaming mahalin ang aming kalikasan.” In addition to the motorcade and press conference, Maestrecampo added, with the launch of the petition: “Tuloy ang laban. Patuloy na kaming naninindigan na No to Mining in Brooke’s Point!” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com