Caritas network joins opposition against mining on Sibuyan island

February 9, 2023 - 10:18 AM
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Residents block a mining company truck during a protest in Sibuyan Island on February 1. (Alyansa Tigil Mina via CBCP News)

The country’s social action network has joined the growing chorus of opposition to the large-scale mining operation on Sibuyan Island.

The network in a statement with Caritas Philippines said they stand behind the people who are determined to protect their island, dubbed the “12”.

“We feel a moral duty to safeguard and uphold the well-being of our shared environment,” part of the statement read.

“Therefore, we believe that the project would not serve the overall interests of the province and would pose a threat, particularly to the lives and lands of the communities on the island, and the rich biodiversity in the area,” they said.

The operations of nickel miner Altai Philippines Mining Corp. was earlier put on hold until all issues and concerns are addressed after more than a week of resistance from many residents.

At least two protesters were hurt when local police dispersed a human barricade against APMC’s alleged illegal operations due to supposed lack of necessary permits.

“We urge the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as all government offices, to prioritize protecting people and nature before vested socio-economic and political interests,” they also said.

“We know what is the right thing to do. Stop mining in Sibuyan. Stop mining in the Philippines,” they added.