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Groups welcome NCIP-Mimaropa Cease and Desist Order against mining companies in Palawan

ATM Press Statement | August 12, 2023

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) welcomed the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-Mimaropa Regional Office against Celestial Nickel Mining Corporation and Ipilan Nickel Mining Corporation ordering the companies “to immediately CEASE AND DESIST from further operating its nickel ore mining operations.”

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, said the CDO was “welcome news” as he hailed the NCIP-Mimaropa for “being true to its mandate of protecting Indigenous Peoples”.

“By this decision, the NCIP-Mimaropa has shown that the voices and will of the IPs can prevail over the interests of the mining companies,” he said. “The CDO order likewise gives hope to the IPs as well as the mining-affected communities that the further destruction of their environment and livelihoods can be permanently stopped.”

Meanwhile, Atty. Gerthie Mayo-Anda, Executive-Director of Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) said: “While we welcome the NCIP’s decision, we believe that the immediate implementation of the Cease and Desist Order or CDO is very critical to address the IPs’ displacement and the deforestation of their ancestral domain covered by mining operations. Since 2017, thousands of trees have been cut inside their sacred grounds and watersheds. The continuing threat to the IPs’ livelihood, culture and food security needs to be addressed.”

Victor Colili, Councilor of Brooke’s Point, Palawan and among the leaders opposing mining operations, said: “We are pleased with the decision of the NCIP-Mimaropa Office. The CDO is a victory for the IPs of Palawan and the individuals and groups bravely resisting the illegal operations of the mining companies. The order further strengthens our resolve to continue our fight against mining and to stand firm in our convictions.”

Colili added: “The CDO is important because it proves that the current mining operations is illegal. This is the right step towards the non-renewal of the Mineral Sharing Production Agreement (MPSA) for 2025-2050”, he said.

Mamilmar Dubria of Samahan ng Katutubong Kabataan and ATM Youth Network said : “The CDO gives us hope in the midst of our struggles and challenges as IP youth leaders. It gives us hope that the mining companies will be held accountable for their violations and illegal activities. The CDO decision also further makes us realize that as IPs, we are the ones who know better what to do with our ancestral lands. We shall continue to fight until the mining companies are out of our lands, not only for ourselves but for the next generations.”


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