Mindoreños rejoice over revocation of Intex’s ECC

The Mindoro hunger strikers return to a hero's welcome in the Oriental Mindoro capital of Calapan City. Photos by Ma Nanette Montellano Geronimo

CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro—Local residents warmly welcomed at the Port of Calapan Saturday (November 28) the Mindoro hunger strikers after they camped out for 11 days in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ central office in Quezon City.

From the pier, the group proceeded to the Bishop’s Residence where a press conference was held.

Mangyan Mission coordinator and one of the 25 hunger strikers Fr. Edu Gariguez read the special order signed by Secretary Joselito Atienza which has temporarily revoked the controversial Environmental Compliance Certificate earlier issued in favor of Intex Resources.

Gariquez said the temporary revocation may be considered a significant victory for everyone on Mindoro Island.

The DENR Special Order (No. 2009-921) dated November 27, 2009 said all allegations and issues against the controversial nickel mining project of the Norway-based Intex Resources will be subjected to a formal inquiry.

The same order calls for the creation of an investigating team to be composed of independent experts nominated by the provincial governments of Oriental and occidental Mindoro and the DENR. Civil society and indigenous peoples based in the two provinces will be represented in the committee.

The streamer says it all. Photo by Ma Nanette Montellano Geronimo

Mangyan leader Badang Isidro expressed her personal and her group’s thanks to Frs. Jimson Ruga, Calapan Social Action Center director, and Edu Gariguez for their dedication and commitment to their cause.

“Ang elemento ng grasya ng Diyos at ng hindi matatawarang suportang ibinigay ni Bishop Broderick Pabillo ang naging malaking dahilan para hindi ako mawalan ng pag-asa at magpatuloy pa sa kabila ng panghihina ng katawan,” Gariquez was quoted as saying.

He said their struggle at the DENR Central Office turned into success with the whole-hearted support of the Church and Manila-based non-government organizations as well as foreign organizations.

“Minsan pang napatunayan na tayo’y may magagawa kung tayo’y sama-sama at nananalig sa Diyos,” he concluded. (Fely Sevilla)

Source: CBCP News

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