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29 Apr 2020

Alyansa Tigil Mina, Friends of the Earth Australia, Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment, Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center & MiningWatch Canada

Philippines: 190 local & int'l organizations condemn violent police action to disperse blockade at OceanaGold mining site

"Global Civil Society Organizations Condemn Violent Dispersal of Indigenous Peoples’ Mining Barricade in the Philippines", 29 April 2020

Over 190 non-governmental organisations from the Philippines and across the world have signed a statement condemning violent police action against a peaceful community barricade at a mining site in Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya on 6 April 2020. The indigenous peoples’ barricade was set up in July 2019, following the expiration of Canadian-Australian mining company OceanaGold’s mining permit.  The police accompanied three diesel tankers and stormed the barricade, brandishing a letter from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea authorizing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to allow the tankers into the mine site. The diesel was said to be used to pump water seeping into the mining tunnels of... suspended operations. The community barricade, set up by the municipal government... and local indigenous people, refused to disperse as the letter contradicted local government and court orders to suspend the operations of [the]...mine. The communities’ peaceful blockade of the road was met with violent action by the police who beat and arrested community leader Rolando Pulido and wounded others... The government has also weaponized Republic Act 11469, using it to arrest a community leader for allegedly violating quarantine protocols when the community was very careful to observe physical distancing at the barricade"... R.A. 11469... is the law recently passed... to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic...