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Anti-mining campaign gaining ground in Ilocos

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Anti-mining campaign gaining ground in Ilocos


Defend Ilocos, a broad network opposed to mining, filed for a Writ of Kalikasan before the Supreme Court to put a stop to magnetite mining in the Ilocos region saying that previous mining operations have already caused massive beach erosion and flooding.
By JOAN GARCIA
Bulatlat.com
Other Story: Mining in Region 1: An Overview
 
The people’s opposition to large-scale and destructive mining in the Ilocos region is gaining ground in all spheres of struggle. In less than a week, the Defend Ilocos Against Mining Plunder (Defend Ilocos) led a picket-rally at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office (MGB-I) last May 2 and filed a petition for the Writ of Kalikasan at the Supreme Court last May 4.

Defend Ilocos, a network composed of peoples’ organizations, non-government and academic institutions, different religious denominations, local government officials and individuals, is the region’s widest anti-mining network.

It was convened during the first Ilocos Peoples Mining Summit last November 26, 2011 at the St. Paul College of Ilocos Sur. Main conveners include the Solidarity of Peasant Against Exploitation (STOP Exploitation), Save the Abra River Movement (STARM), Anakbayan Ilocos, Ilocos Ecumenical Movement (ISEM), Peoples Solidarity Against Large-scale and Destructive Mining in Ilocos Norte (PSLAM-IN), Ilocos Region Ecumenical Council (IREC), Timpuyog ken Namnama ti Mangalap (TIMEK) – Pamalakaya, Ilocos Human Rights Alliance (IHRA) and Ilocos Center for Research, Empowerment and Development (ICRED).

First time

On the morning of May 2, Defend Ilocos, together with representatives from different peoples organizations held a two-hour program during the picket-rally in front of the MGB-I Regional Office at Lingsat, San Fernando, La Union.


(Photo by Joan Garcia / bulatlat.com)
Annabel Narvasa, spokesperson of Defend Ilocos and leader of TIMEK-Pamalakaya underscored the experience of the different coastal communities where magnetite mining companies such as FILMAG and Anglo American Mining Corporation operated from 1964 to Mid-1980s.

“Coastal communities in La Union and Ilocos Sur continue to experience massive beach erosion and flooding due to previous mining operations to extract magnetite sand, allowing another company to extract this material, which serves as beach armor, is tantamount to giving a go signal to displace communities residing in the coast and destroying their livelihood,” said Narvasa.

Meanwhile, Antonino Pugyao, Vice-Chairperson of Stop Exploitation slammed the MGB’s seemingly deaf ears to the people’s opposition against the entry of mining companies in their communities..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/05/07/anti-mining-campaign-gaining-ground-in-ilocos/

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