BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Governor-elect Carlos Padilla joined the barricade of indigenous peoples and farmers in Sitio Camgat, Didipio in Kasibu town to stop the drilling and exploration activities of an Australian-Canadian transnational mining company.
Residents belonging to Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association (Desama) and Samahang Pangkarapatan ng Katutubong Mangagawa at Magsasaka, Inc. (Sapakmmi), launched their barricade since Wednesday in Sitio Camgat in the said village.
The local folks put up a barricade against OceanaGold explorations with placards saying “No to water pollution, Pull out the drilling and No to exploration.”
They also pleaded to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte “to change the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 which brought large-scale mining to our lives.”
Padilla, outgoing Deputy Speaker at the House of Representatives and known for his anti-mining stance, said he will work to stop mining in the province as governor.
“I urge the people to show their support by joining the people’s call to end mining, and seek President-elect Duterte’s help to stop the destruction of Nueva Vizcaya and cancel the permit of OceanaGold,” Padilla said.
A representative of the lone district of the province for more than 30 years, Padilla is considered as one of the staunch champions of repealing the Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment an Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB). As a legislator, he has also drafted and supported bills declaring No-Go Zones areas in the country.
“I want OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) and their international counterparts to respect the decision of the people to no longer continue to operate, moreover, expand their operations here. OceanaGold should stop and go,” Padilla said, joining the residents at the barricade.
Two foreign large-scale mining firms operate in the province – OceanaGold Corporation in Didipio, Kasibu and the British FCF Mineral in Runruno, Quezon.