We, members of the Women and Mining Working Group (WMWG) of Alyansa Tigil Mina stand in solidarity with the environment defenders of Sibuyan and our brave sisters, as they continue to face threats from the mining company Altai Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
Land and water are integral to life, more so for women who are the family and community's primary food and care providers. The people of Sibuyan Island in Romblon, who have erected a barricade to stop illegal mining activities of Altai Philippines will continue to defend their right to land, food, water, and to life.
We strongly condemn the reported violence and harassment by the Philippine National Police (PNP), resulting in the physical harm of two Sibuyanons. This is not the first time that the PNP has turned against civilians and protected the interests of a mining company. In April 2020, the PNP also violently dispersed a people’s barricade blocking a mining company’s diesel trucks from illegally entering the barangay of Didipio in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.
We call for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to urgently investigate the possible multiple violations committed by the PNP in Sibuyan Island. The relentless and vicious attacks by the state armed forces against environment defenders must stop.
We also call for the national government to urgently enact policies that protect the rights of communities and protect human rights and environment defenders in the Philippines. With the current policies in place and the deafening silence of the national government on the recent events in Sibuyan, the Marcos Jr. administration proves it is no different from its predecessor. It seems the Marcos Jr. government will continue to allow and sponsor foreign mining companies to destroy the lands and waters of communities and the ancestral domains of indigenous peoples.
If so, the government must not expect human rights and environment defenders to cease resisting and defending their rights. Women who are at the forefront of the struggle will continue to defend their right to food, land, water, and life, and continue to protect the future of their children and generations to come.
We are one with the women and men of Sibuyan.
PHOTO: Residents of Sibuyan face against police in an attempt to stop illegal entry of trucks owned by Altai Philippines mining company | February 1, 2023 | Photo by Andrew Palangdao
#WeAreOneWithSibuyan #NoToMiningInSibuyan #IAmOneWithSibuyan