The local government of Brooke’s Point in Palawan vowed to press charges against Ipilan Nickel Corporation after the latter allegedly resumed its mining activities despite the cancellation of its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and having no Mayor’s Permit from the local government.
Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano said in an interview that they are now preparing the charges against the mining company and will seriously push for the cancellation of the company’s Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) Clearance issued by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).
April 4, Tuesday, Mayor Feliciano has sent the municipal engineer together with the licensing staff to the office of INC in Bgy. Maasin, Brooke’s Point to check the compliance of the company to local permitting requirements.
“Nakikipag-usap na po tayo sa ating abogado at magpa-file tayo ng kaso laban sa kanila. Meron din tayong pending petition sa PCSD at hinihiling po natin na ikansela ang SEP Clearance na na-isyu ni dating Governor Baham Mitra sapagkat marami silang violations,” Feliciano said.
On Sunday, April 2, 2016, after two attempts to enter the campsite which were disallowed by the mining company’s guards, Mayor Feliciano and the community held a rally in front of the Ipilan Nickel Corporation office. Only then were they allowed to enter the premises. The LGU wanted to enter the campsite following news that the company has started to mobilize heavy equipment in the area.
“Punong bayan ng Brooke’s Point, inihalal ng taong bayan, binigyan ng mandato na pangalagaan ang kalikasan, kabuhayan, buhay at kalusugan ng mga mamamayan pero may isang minahan- Ipilan Nickel Miniing Corporation kayo ay iresponsable,” said Feliciano during the rally.
The chief executive of Brooke’s Point also claimed that the company has not acquired a Free and Prior Informed Consent from the indigenous communities.
Feliciano is a staunch anti-mining advocate because she believes that mining operations damage the livelihood of farmers just below the mine site of INC. She likewise claims that the site is within a watershed area.
The Ipilan nickel project in southwestern Palawan province has resources of over 50 million wet metric tonnes at 1.23 percent nickel content, which Global Ferronickel intends to export to China and Australia, according to media reports.
Palawan News has sought the side of Ipilan Nickel Corporation but as of writing, the spokesperson has not returned the call of this publication. (With reports from Ton Abengoza)
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