STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION TO OCEANAGOLD PHILIPPINES INC.’S MINING OPERATIONS BY THE DIDIPIO EARTH SAVERS MOVEMENT ASSOCIATION (DESAMA) AND BILEG DAGITI BABBAE (POWER OF WOMEN)
August 8, 2022
On July 21, 2022, our organizations were invited by the Didipio Barangay Council to a dialogue the following day for us to state our positions and demands. The Didipio Earth Savers Movement Association (DESAMA) and the Tuwali indigenous women’s organization, Bileg Dagiti Babbae (Power of Women) continue to oppose OceanaGold Philippines Inc.’s (OGPI) mining operations and the company’s violations of their legal obligations.
Jestony B. Pinhikan and Myrna Duyan attended the dialogue as representatives of DESAMA and Bileg Dagiti Babbae respectively. The dialogue on July 22, 2022, was held at the barangay hall.
We have been opposing OGPI’s large-scale mining operations and human rights violations since the very beginning. To this day we continue to oppose and resist the company’s Financial or Technical Agreement Assistance (FTAA) renewal. This, however, was granted to them by the national government. Our dialogue with the barangay council on July 22, 2022, and on August 1, 2022, was for the purpose of demanding our rights and speaking the truth – That OGPI violated their legal obligation.
We do not want our livelihood and natural resources destroyed by destructive investors. The only thing that the next generations can inherit is land, not pollution. From the expiration of their mining permit to the resumption of their operations, OGPI did not acquire a Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) from the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), nor did they receive consent from the community. According to OGPI, they did not need to because the national government had already renewed their permit.
We in DESAMA and Bileg Dagiti Babbae, together with the BLGU, oppose the renewal of their mining permit.
On August 1, 2022, a second dialogue was held at the barangay hall. President Eduardo P. Ananayo represented DESAMA. Due to miscommunication, no representative from Bileg Dagiti Babbae was able to attend. In the August 1 dialogue, Atty. Joan Adasi was furious at the BLGU for passing Resolution 38. Atty. Joan Adasi threatened to stop funding the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) if the Didipio BLGU did not recant Resolution 38. The SDMP funds subsidies for teachers and barangay employees and funds scholarships and other community projects. Barangay officials who refuse to sign the revocation resolution will not receive SDMP funding for their respective sectors. Due to this threat by Atty. Adasi, barangay council officials were frightened and immediately wrote a resolution revoking Resolution 38. Atty. Joan Adasi is the current president of OGPI.
To insult and berate barangay council officials is unbecoming of a lawyer and officer of OGPI - Not to mention using the SDMP as a threat when this is a legal obligation of any mining company according to DENR Ao 2000-99 (Rules and Regulations on the Implementation of the Social Development and Management Projects).
This is why we in DESAMA and Bileg Dagiti Babbae will continue to oppose the mining permit renewal of OGPI. We call on the national government to hold OGPI or Didipio Mine accountable for the violation of their legal obligations, and violation of human rights, including our right to livelihood, and environmental rights.
We urge the newly-appointed Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary, Sec. Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to immediately investigate this legal violation of OGPI.
Eduardo P. Ananayo – DESAMA President
Angelina C. Udan – DEAMA Board of Directors
Jestony B. Pinkihan – DESAMa Board of Directors
Julian A. Inlab – DESAMA Board of Directors
Romeo D. Licyayo – DESAMA Board of Directors
Luis T. Paulino – DESAMA Board of Directors
Myrna P. Duyan – Bileg Dagiti Babbae President
Dominga L. Ananayo – Bileg Dagiti Babbae Board of Directors
Noemi A. Pinkihan – Bileg Dagiti Babbae Board of Directors
Mylin L. Pawwekan – Bileg Dagiti Babbae Board of Directors
Elizabeth C. Guay – Bileg Dagiti Babbae Secretary
This statement was originally written in Tagalog by DESAMA and Bileg Dagiti Babbae and translated to English by LILAK. Read the original statement below.