NGO reiterates allegations of Citinickel operating despite suspension

DENR Secretary Lopez visit CitiNickel mine in Narra, Palawan (File Photo)

In another letter addressed to the members of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) dated January 31, the Palawan NGO Network Incorporated (PNNI) have submitted another piece of evidence against Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation (CitiNickel), citing that the company still conducted mining operations in Sofronio Española, Palawan, despite the latter being under suspension by the DENR due to some violations.

Executive Director Atty. Robert Chan reiterated their stance in their previous complaint, despite the result of the investigation conducted by the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) wherein the government agency ruled that the company was doing “surface preparation of the area for rehabilitation”, contrary to PNNI’s allegations.

The DENR-MGB released their findings on December 13, 2016. However, PNNI refutes the said findings and stressed out that the company was “digging and extraction operations of their [CitiNickel] backhoe directly from the mountain and not from their stockpile”.

CitiNickel’s Community Relation Manager Pamela Miguel previously denied PNNI’s allegations. She said they are conducting a rehabilitation process. Regarding the new allegations by PNNI, she has refused to comment yet since they have not received a copy of the newest document from the NGO.

Meanwhile, MGB Director Roland de Jesus said that no black and white copy has been submitted to their office regarding the said complaint.

We will still look into it and evaluate if the evidence is worth investigating. The MMT is right now in the area. Kung mako-contact ko sila, I’ll request them to look into it,” de Jesus, who is currently out of the country, told Palawan News via Viber.

Chan added that they are determined to push for the cancellation of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of CitiNickel.

DENR Secretary Regina Lopez reaffirmed the company’s suspension in a statement yesterday, February 2.

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