Dispatch from Crame No. 556: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Ongoing People’s Barricade against Oceanagold Phils., Inc. (OGPI)


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The ongoing barricade in the hinterlands of Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya to stop the open-pit mining operation of OceanaGold Philippines (OGPI) whose license expired last June 20 is a testament that despite the prevailing culture of fear and impunity, Filipinos have the courage to stand up for their rights.

I fully support this action of Didipio residents, counting among them Bugkalots and other tribes from the Cordilleras who have long been suffering from the negative impacts of this large-scale mining of OGPI.

It was during my term as Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson, back in 2009, that we visited and investigated said mining activity due to alleged violations and abuses of the company in cahoots with national and local officials.

Noong 2010, naglabas ang CHR ng resolusyong nagrerekomenda sa pagkansela sa Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) sa pagitan ng OGPI at gobyerno ng Pilipinas dahil napatunayang nilabag ng kumpanya ang mga karapatan sa seguridad, pabahay, kultura at freedom of movement ng mga residente ng Didipio.

Unfortunately, at the expense of Didipio residents and the environment, OGPI was then able to proceed with its operation. What is perplexing is that why it is still being allowed to conduct mining activities even after the expiration of its permit.

Tila natutulog sa pansitan ang ating mga ahensyang dapat ay nangangalaga sa ating kalikasan at mamamayan.

Beware of the writings on the wall; no matter how a government treats human rights and its people, they would always have the capability to rise to the occasion and defend their dignity.

*Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 556 here: https://issuu.com/senatorleil…/…/dispatch_from_crame_no._556

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