Just a few weeks after Gina Lopez’s cancelled assignment as DENR Chief and the ‘rotten tomatoes’ in the country’s ever-controversial mining industry seemed already bent for a greedy feast of the land.

“You know one when you see one”–a maxim apt for Ipilan Nickel Corporation after it cleared almost 20 hectares of forest and cut around 7,000 trees in Brooke’s Point—this despite the cancellation of its Environmental Compliance Certificate pending appeal before the Office of the President.

While the mining company argues the legitimacy of the ECC cancellation given their appeal, everything about its recent ‘tree-cutting spree’ smacks of why the industry is under fire. Herein is a clear example of arrogant disregard of the law and the community’s concerns, despite repeated clamor from the town’s chief itself. And the mining industry wonders why they face such heavy opposition from various sectors of the public?

While this publication tries to understand the logic behind INC’s actions—namely that their Mineral Production Sharing Agreement will culminate few years from now and they are fast-tracking everything to be able to operate soon—it will take some mind-stretching to ‘un-see’ the malice in their act.

No mining company is exempted from going through the process of securing permits, including for tree-cutting, and mitigating measures should be in place. How can INC operate when they don’t have access to the pier and all other facilities as part of the construction and development stage?

If the mining industry ever wonders why there’s such mounting criticism of their operations, and why Gina Lopez reached such popularity, it only needs to look at the rotten example of Ipilan Nickel Corporation. Woe to the industry’s ‘responsible players’ who are trying to disentangle from these rotten ones. When will they get rid of these?

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