Dalton Pass in Nueva Vizcaya. File photo

Groups: Anti-mining villages in Vizcaya, Batangas under threat
Artemio Dumlao (philstar.com) - September 29, 2017 - 6:20am
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Villages in Nueva Vizcaya and Batangas opposed to mining are under siege, progressive groups said.
 
Civil society group Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Novo Vizcayano para sa Inang Kalikasan (ANNVIK), which led a fact-finding mission in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya only last September 16, documented the forced evacuation of at least 133 families across three villages due to more than a week of combat operations by the 84th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
 
Residents of barangays Kakiduguen, Dine and Biyoy put up barricades against mining exploration activities of Australian firm Royalco and the expansion attempts of Australian mining transnational corporation OceanaGold.
 
While soldiers from the 202nd Infantry Brigade and the 730th Combat Group of the Philippine Air Force have reportedly strafed and bombed areas of Mt. Banoi, considered the fifth most biologically diverse mountain in the country.
 
Communities around Mt. Banoi in Batangas City and Lobo town have opposed large-scale mining projects by Canadian companies MRL Gold and Egerton Gold, both affiliated with Australian miner Red Mountain Mining.
 
Reports reaching the environment group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) indicated that at least 400 families in communities in Mt. Banoi were reportedly displaced by military operations. There were also unconfirmed reports of at least two civilians killed in the army’s combat operations.
 
 
Human rights group Karapatan in Southern Tagalog attempted to conduct a fact-finding mission in Mt. Banoi, but participants were reportedly not allowed into the area by police.
 
"We are now seeing the full implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s pitiless declaration to 'flatten the hills' in an all-out war against the communist rebels of the New People’s Army—and civilian communities are being deliberately targeted," said Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan-PNE.
 
Dulce said leaders of KIRED, one of the community organizations opposed to mining in Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya, were branded NPA supporters.
 
Kalikasan PNE said these incidents in Nueva Vizcaya and Batangas, are the latest in what it called as “systematic attacks against the rights of environmental defenders in the Philippines.” They said 23 environmental defenders have already been killed under the Duterte administration.
 
In May, the congressional Commission on Appointments rejected the appointment of environmental advocate Gina Lopez as Environment secretary. Lopez had been critical of mining in the Philippines and had ordered a nationwide audit of mines that led to orders for mines deemed to have been violating environmental protection guidelines to suspend operations.
 
Mining firms opposed Lopez's appointment, saying the audit and suspension orders were arbitrary. 

Philstar
Facebook
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.