Brooke’s Point RTC issues TRO vs mining project protesters


A temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was issued by a local court in Brooke’s Point, Palawan against an ongoing protest on the operation of the Ipilan Mining Corporation in the municipality.

RTC Branch 165 Presiding Judge Ramon Chito R. Mendoza issued the TRO in favor of Ipilan, which is now calling on the local government of Brooke’s Point to act against the harassment allegedly perpetrated by the protesters.

The protesters, led by Pastor Job Lagrada, Dominador Magdaluyo, and Marcelo Polmones who were named respondents to the civil case, were accused of blocking the mine haul roads of the company for weeks, prohibiting the company from conducting its nickel mining operation.

The TRO, essentially, prohibits the protesters from stopping, apprehending, searching, obstructing, or even approaching miners entering or exiting the mine using the access roads in the area.

In a statement, Ipilan maintained that as a company that adheres to the scientific, ethical, and regulatory framework, INC welcomes the court’s ruling that it says reinforces its core values.

“As such, INC [Ipilan Nickel Corporation] is urging Brooke’s Point Mayor Cesar R. Benedicto Jr., to demonstrate his sworn duty by leading the court personnel and the Philippine National Police contingent in implementing the court order peacefully and promptly,” Alex Arabis, resident mine manager said.

“As a good corporate citizen, we are complying with legal procedures and exploring all lawful and peaceful options against the threats and intimidation tactics used by propagandists and saboteurs,” he added.

Arabis said INC continues to remain dedicated to fostering private productive relationships with all of its stakeholders.

A joint undertaking between the government and INC, the Ipilan Nickel project in Brookes Point is critical to achieving sustainable economic recovery and genuine environmental protection, said INC.

INC currently provides employment to over 1,500 workers, wherein 90 percent are residents of Brooke’s Point.

INC added that Indigenous Peoples are also well represented as they make up 28 percent of the total workforce.

INC has spent close to P53.3 million to fund various projects aimed at improving the quality of life in Brooke’s Point and nearby areas, the company stressed.

To recall, on March 7, various groups led by the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) marched to the DENR grounds under the banner  “Barikada ng Mamamayan” to call on Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to cancel the mining contracts that allegedly continue to ravage communities and destroy the environment.

Specifically, the protesters identified the Altai Philippines Mining Corporation operating in Sibuyan Island and INC in Brooke’s Point, Palawan.

Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM said the protest action in Quezon City is in solidarity with the “Barikada Kontra-Mina” in Sibuyan and “Barikada ng Bayan” in Brooke’s Point.

Bearing placards and chanting “Likas Yaman, Ipamana Huwag Ipamina; Yamang Bayan, Protektahan Huwag Nakawan,” the protestors also warned the Marcos administration from catering to the vested interests of mining companies at the expense of mining-affected communities.