Bishop Socrates Mesiona of Puerto Princesa and Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Taytay.

By CBCP News

April 18, 2023

Manila, Philippines

Catholic bishops in Palawan province have elevated their appeal to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to end mining operations in the biodiversity-rich island.

Bishops Socrates Mesiona of Puerto Princesa and Broderick Pabillo of Taytay urged Marcos to “permanently stop” the operations of Ipilan Mining Corp. (INC) and other mining activities in watersheds and protected areas.

The bishops’ appeal was contained in a joint pastoral statement released following what they described as “violent dispersal and unlawful arrests” of anti-mining protesters in Brooke’s Point town.

The incident, they said, was perpetrated by dozens of INC security guards, “backed up by a contingent of 30 police force who silently watched and abetted them”.

Several farmers, fisherfolk, and indigenous peoples have been manning a barricade since February 18 to prevent mining trucks containing nickel ore from entering a private port.

“They have endured hunger, heat, rain and grave threats to their life and safety to make a collective stand up in preserving and protecting our beautiful Palawan,” the bishops said.

The mayor’s permit of INC had expired on Feb. 1, 2023 and Brooke’s Point local government had issued a cease and desist order against its operations.

“Rather than fully complying with the rule of law, Ipilan Nickel Corporation acted in blatant defiance of the law by continuously operating its mine,” the prelates said.

“Worse, the company took the law into its own hands by deploying its large private security force in violently dispersing the peaceful rallyists,” they added.

The church leaders urged the provincial prosecutors to dismiss all the “trumped-up charges” against the rallyists and hold accountable the people behind the harsh dispersal and illegal arrests.


CBCPNews is a church-based news agency operated by the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.  This apostolate aims at helping the work of the new evangelization through the news media.  This is non-commercial and non-profit.  That being the case, it totally depends on generosity of its readers and supporters.

Should you wish to donate kindly press the donate button.  Thank you.