Sibuyanons hold vigil rally against mining at DENR
ATM Press Statement | May 19, 2023
Sibuyanons residing in Metro Manila trooped to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to hold an overnight vigil rally demanding the cancellation of the Mineral Sharing Production Agreement (MPSA) of Altai Philippines Mining Corporation.
“Kami ay narito muli sa harap ng DENR National Office upang ipanawagan sa mga opisyales ang agarang pag kansela sa MPSA ng ALTAI dahil sa mga lantarang paglabag nito sa mga batas na ipinapatupad ng kagawaran at ng gobyerno, hindi pa kasama ang iba pang mga panlilinlang nila sa mga tao at sa gobyerno para lamang sa kanilang compliance.” said Alfreo Borda Pascual President of Bantay Kalikasan ng Sibuyan (BKS). “Nais din namin ipabatid na tutol ang taong bayan sa pagmimina sa Sibuyan dahil sa kasiraan na idudulot nito hindi lang sa kalikasan kundi sa kabuhayan ng mga tao.” (We are again here at the DENR National Office to call on officials to immediately cancel the MPSA of ALTAI because of their blatant violations of the laws of the agency and government and their deceptions to the people and government. We also like to express our opposition to mining in Sibuyan due to the destruction of our natural resources and livelihoods.)
Borda said they have sent several letters to the agency calling for the cessation of mining in their island.
“We say No to Mining in Sibuyan Island as mining will destroy its natural beauty and its biodiversity considering that it is one of the last ecological frontiers of our country. The health and livelihoods of our people, including the indigenous groups, will be put at risk. We cannot allow this to happen,” said Pristine Garcia, member of BKS.
BKS is among the various groups opposing mining in Sibuyan. They are at the forefront of the Sibuyanons’ struggle against mining, organizing activities each month to bring attention to mining issues in Sibuyan.