Oceana Gold pulls out drilling operation after people’s barricade

NUEVA VIZCAYA – Oceana Gold Philippines Inc. pulled out their drilling operations in Sitio Camgat, Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu Nueva Vizcaya  June 18, three days after anti-mining residents barricaded the entrance to the site.

The Barangay Council and anti-mining residents under DESAMA and SAPPAKMI decided to stop the barricade after OGPI pulled-out their equipment in the area stating that the victory of the people is only temporary.

“We will maintain to be vigilant towards the company’s dirty tactics of sneaking in drilling equipment in the area. Last time, they sneaked in their equipment when the community was busy attending a wedding and a funeral,” said Erenio Bobola, chairperson of SAPPAKMI.

According to reports from the residents, immediately after the barricade, OGPI called for a meeting with barangay residents to discuss the new amendments of their Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) which is the basis of their entry.

“We already signed a resolution in 2012 that the community will not allow any mining activity in the area. The company did not respect that by asking the approval only from the landowners where the drilling machines were situated,” said Myrna Duyan, a board director of DESAMA.

“We still need to consolidate the landowners and the barangay council to remain steady with their anti-mining stand and not be co-opted by the company’s offers because even though it is their land, the effects of the operation will affect all of us in the barangay,” Erenio Bobola, chairperson of SAPPAKMI said in a phone interview

Last week, the barricade was visited by incoming Governor Carlos Padilla who vowed to help the residents stop the drilling and exploration of OGPI.

Last June 30, during the presidential inauguration in Metro Manila, SAPPAKKMI voiced out their calls to President Duterte to stop the Australian mining giant from destroying their community.

“…We experienced its negative impacts to our environment, livelihood and health. Please realize your promise that you will stop the operations of destructive mining companies once you are in power),” plead the group to the president.#