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ATM Reaction on DENR’s Cease and Desist Order to APMC

PRESS STATEMENT | February 7, 2023


Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) lauded the Sibuyan residents today for their victory over the illegal operations of Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) after the DENR issued a Cease and Desist Order preventing the mining firm from the construction and operation of its causeway and stopping its transportation of nickel ore.


“The DENR Order suspending the current operations of APMC is a clear victory for the people of Sibuyan. Without the firm resistance of the Sibuyan residents and environmental defenders, we doubt if the DENR will lift a finger on the violations of the APMC,” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of ATM. “However, the struggle of the Sibuyanons is far from over as they are strongly demanding the revocation of APMC’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA),”


Aside from the Cease and Desist Order, the DENR’s Order also included the suspension of APMC’s Ore Transport Permit, stopping the transportation of ore from the contract site to the causeway, the denial of the APMC’s application for Miscellaneous Lease Agreement, for PENRO to file appropriate legal actions, if warranted, on cutting of trees without permit, and PENRO to conduct investigation on the potentially damaged sea grass and other marine resources.


“This is just one of the fruits of the barricade with the tireless and unselfish people who have been joining and supporting us for the last fourteen days. We appreciate the action by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) but we will not leave the barricade until the Exploration Permit (EP) and Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) are revoked,” Rodne Galicha, Executive-Director of Living Laudato Si said in a Facebook post.


“We will also exhaust all administrative and legal means to defend Sibuyan Island and end the abuses and disrespect to our communities. We call on all Filipinos and those who love Sibuyan to join our cause as we unite to defend the rights of nature in which all human rights and lives depend. This is just the beginning and we shall continue to #HoldTheLineforSibuyan. The barricade camp remains!,” Galicha said.


Elizabeth Ibañez, Coordinator of Sibuyanons Against Mining (SAM), is skeptical about the DENR’s Order. “Para siyang candy na pampatahan sa anak na nag-aalburoto. Ni hindi tingnan nang malalim yung dahilan basta lang kailangan e tumigil sa pag-iyak,” she said.


She said that if the DENR is really serious about protecting the rights and respecting the will of the people of Sibuyan, it should “revoke the Exploration Permit and MPSA of APMC once and for all.”


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