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1 Feb 2021

Philippines: CSOs condemn violent dispersal of blockade following the expiration of OceanaGold's license to operate the Didipio mine; company responds

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Following the expiration of the 25-year term Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) that allowed OceanaGold to operate a copper and gold mine in Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines, a barricade was set-up by the indigenous Ifugaos.

On 6 April 2020, the barricade was allegedly met with a violent action by the police that lead to beatings and arrests. Over 190 civil society organisations condemned the violence.

On 9 December 2020, the provincial governor of Nueva Vizcaya, Carlos Padilla, sent a letter to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte urging for the non-renewal of the FTAA. In the letter, Padilla said that the mine at Didipio is attributed to environmental and human rights abuses, including “loss of forests, agricultural lands, biodiversity, surface and ground water, peaceful co-existence among communities and loss of lives and properties due to flooding”.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited OceanaGold to respond to the allegations contained in MiningWatch Canada's new releases (linked below). OceanaGold specifically denies any violent attempt to run the road blockade. The company's full response is linked below.

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