ATM Statement on illegal entry of fuel trucks in Nueva Vizcaya


Quezon City - Alyansa Tigil Mina strongly condemns the illegal forceful entry today of five fuel trucks by Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) in Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. This is an illegal act by the mining company, as it’s mining contract has expired more than a year ago, and it does not have any permit to operate from the local governments. Our alliance also denounce the alleged order of DILG Sec. Ano instructing the PNP to escort the illegal entry of the fuel trucks. About 30 elements of the PNP from Nueva Vizcaya accompanied 50 security guards of the mining company to deliver the fuel. Local barangay officials and environmental groups from the area tried to prevent the illegal entry, but the police allegedly threatened protestors they will be arrested. We are deeply frustrated that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of DENR has failed to implement the closure and decommissioning protocols for the Didipio mines, in light of the expiration of OGPI’s Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA). We hold the DENR and the MGB as accountable for the continued destruction of the forests and livelihoods of affected communities in Nueva Vizcaya, especially in light of the floods and landslides brought by the recent typhoons. This illegal entry of fuel to the mines add insult to injury, as OGPI prevented the provincial government from opening an alternate road in Kasibu town, after the main road was made impassable, because of the overflow of the mine tailings pond. We demand that DILG Sec. Ano immediately revoke any order to the PNP to escort fuel deliveries to the Didipio mines. The DILG and the PNP should not be used nor be part of this illegal activity of OGPI. We demand that the DENR immediately disclose the Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Plan (FMRDP) of the Didipio mining project, so the LGUs and affected communities are properly informed about these protocols. We remind President Duterte that he himself recognized that the deforestation in the mountains of Sierra Madre is the main cause of the devastating floods in Isabela and Cagayan. Pres. Duterte must instruct the DILG and the DENR to immediately stop the illegal activities in Nueva Vizcaya. #

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