Aarons Macaraeg | Bulalat

MANILA– Local environmental group Kalikasan- People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE) lambasted on Thursday the illegal shipment of fuel for the continuing operation of Oceanagold mining company.

The fuel tankers were escorted reportedly by about 100 elements of the Kasibu Municipal Police. This was the second time it happened after the violent dispersal of barangay Didipio’s people’s barricade on April 6, 2020.

Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE, said that the mining operation of Oceanagold was reported to have contributed to the massive flooding in Cagayan Valley early this month after the onslaught of #TyphoonUlysses.

The heavy rainfall caused the toxic dam tailings to overflow, submerging the communities downstream.

The Oceanagold’s trespass was a direct violation of the restraining order issued by the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya after its continued operation in July 2019 without permit. The Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of the mining company expired in June 2019.

“We demand for an immediate watershed audit that will investigate and penalize these extractive and destructive projects that worsened the massive floods that came with the series of typhoons leading to ‘Ulysses.’ The government agencies that have played a role in maintaining the business as usual operations of these mines must likewise be probed and held to account,” said Dulce.

A group of scientists from Agham conducted an environmental investigation mission in 2014 in the mining community and found damages to forests, and air and water pollution linked to Oceanagold.