RESIDENTS OF SITIO Camgat, Barangay Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya remounted their barricade last June 6 to stop and condemn the mining operation of Oceanagold Philippines Inc., a large Australian company engaged in gold and copper open pit mining, which continued despite the expiration of its contract.
The barricade was mounted along Oceanagold’s access road and is guarded by 50 to 100 residents 24 hours a day. The residents said that their barricade will continue until mining operations are permanently suspended. No company truck was allowed to pass the barricade since July 1. Before this, the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya already issued an order restraining the 12,000-hectare operation of the company.
The mining company is notorious for destroying the environment, displacement of and violence against peasants and indigenous peoples. Since the start of its operations in 1994, hectares of forests were denuded and rivers were polluted, resulting in the depletion of potable water for residents. Two mining workers were killed in accidents due to unsafe working conditions.
In a related news, members of the Kalikasan People’s Network Alliance for the Environment trooped to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau on July 2 in support of the residents’ resistance.