NPA shuts down Ilocos’ carbon-in-pulp plant


Candon City, Ilocos Sur: New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas shut down over the weekend a carbon-in-pulp (CIP) plant in Patiacan village in Quirino town in this province over alleged environmental violations.

The NPA’s Antonio Licawen Front Operational Command, in a statement sent to journalists, said the CIP plant in sitio Makawkawa, Barangay Patiacan, was closed down because the owner did not heed their warning on January 1, 2016 against the use of harmful chemicals.

The NPA warned it “does not allow any kind of leaching pad especially those that use cyanide, which is one of the most toxic poisons which can harm the health of humans, animals and plants alike.”

The group said villagers in Quirino have long been protesting against the cyanide leaching pad because the plant has been operating above the water source of Barangay Patungcaleo.

The CIP was also blamed for the fish kills along the Balas-iyan River last year allegedly caused by “irresponsible mining” in Barangay Patiacan.

The rebels claim that the CIP operator was given enough time to voluntarily dismantle the leaching pad.

The NPA warning was widely distributed to concerned citizens (operators, village and municipal officials) and the people of Quirino and adjacent towns.

On March 16 this year, rebels claimed to have conducted a village meeting in Barangay Patiacan to explain the contents of the warning statement, attended by the CIP operator in Makawkawa, elders and barangay{village) officials.

Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson has not commented on the shutdown of the CIP plant, although he earlier vowed to look into the issues surrounding the alleged destructive mining activities in the province.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA and the National Democratic Front-Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (NDF/CPDF) further warned that they “will not allow any activities which will gravely destroy the environment and health of communities,” while “mining of gold and copper in small-scale operations will be allowed as long as the miners ensure the protection of the environment, health and agriculture.”

The operation of CIPs plants is highly prohibited, according to the NPA Command between the Abra-Ilocos Sur-Mountain Province boundaries.

“[This] should serve as warning to the other operators in Barangay Patiacan and other areas to stop destructive methods in extracting gold,” the NPAs said, adding that continuing, “this also serves warning to large scale mining companies and their mercenary protectors in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police. The NPA is serious in enforcing its task of defending life, land and resources of the Filipino people.”


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