Sibuyanons call on DENR to issue cease and desist order against APMC
Press Statement | February 6, 2023
Environmental defenders in Sibuyan, Romblon called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to issue a cease and desist order that would stop the operations of Altai Philippines Mining Company (APMC).
According to the DENR findings:
1. APMC violated PD 1067 known as the Water Code of the Philippines- shore easement construction of structures
2. APMC violated DAO 2004-24 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations - no foreshore lease agreement (Sec. 2c); salvage zone construction
3. APMC violated Section 4 of PD 1586 - construction of causeway without Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)
4. APMC violated Section 77 of PD 705 - cutting/clearing of trees without permit
“Hinihihingi natin ang agarang aksyon ng DENR Secretary through MGB Regional Director to issue a cease and desist order. Ang mabagal na aksyon ng DENR ay magdudulot ng malawak na pinsala sa Isla ng Sibuyan at kapahamakan sa mga mamamayan, “ said Elizabeth Ibañez, Coordinator of Sibuyanons Against Mining (SAM).
Rodne Galicha, Executive-Director of Living Laudato Si said: “An urgent cease and desist order must be done by DENR to prevent further damage to ecosystems and people. We urge Secretary Yulo-Loyzaga to take action and visit the island for her to see the island personally and talk to the people
Ibañez further decried the lack of capacity of the municipal and provincial officials to act on the people’s demands, saying that these officials stand in defense of the mining company and even act as their spokespersons.
“Walang maaasahang aksyon mula sa mga pinuno ng bayan at probinsya dahil lagi nilang ipinapasa ang kilos o aksyon sa national agency dahil sila ay takot at walang kapasidad na gampanan ang kanilang tungkulin sa mga mamamayan bagkus sila mismo ang tumatayong tagapagtanggol at tagapagsalita ng minahan,” she said.
Jaybee Garganera, Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, said “we fully support the calls of the residents and environment defenders in Sibuyan. We demand that the DENR spare no time in issuing a cease and desist order and justly heed and respect the will and sentiments of the Sibuyanons.”