Photo from Brooke's Point MIO

Palawan Bishop Socrates Mesiona has thrown his full support behind the protest action being undertaken by residents of Brooke’s Point against Ipilan Nickel Corporation in Barangay Maasin.

In his homily at a Holy Mass held at the picket site on Tuesday, he described the mining operations as “a rape of mother nature.”

The prelate earlier issued a pastoral letter in support of the rally and appealed to authorities to heed the protesters’ demands. 

Residents of Brooke’s Point have been gathering outside the mining company’s gates for the past week, with the help of the municipal government, to protest the company’s continued operations without local permits and despite allegedly breaking environmental laws.

“Destroying the environment is a sin. And so as believers, we are obliged to protect our only home,” he said in his homily.

“After they get what they want, they will just leave us. We will be the ones who will suffer and not the businessmen,” the prelate underscored, picturing the “sad reality” the “abusive” mining operation entails.

“But our fight must continue,” he said. “As believers, we are called to protect and care for both creation and the human person.”

This was Bishop Misiona’s second visit to the protest, this time accompanied by 10 other priests. Mesiona reiterated his support for the “brave acts” of the anti-mining groups, saying that the shepherds of God’s people are always with them to take care of and guide them.

“We need to remain vigilant and continue to help each other because it seems that this struggle will still take time,” he said.