PMPI today raises concern over the supposed letter from Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Leo Jasareno giving the mining company Nickel Asia Corporation to haul and load nickel ore stockpiles from Manicani Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
“I was shocked when a local community leader called me yesterday informing us that representatives of Nickel Asia went to Manicani brandishing the letter purportedly signed by MGB Director Jasareno. We can’t understand this development as the mining operations in the island is currently suspended due to several violations,” said Fr. Oliver Castor, PMPI anti-mining campaign project officer.
Castor is pertaining to Marcial Somooc, president of the Save Manicani Movement (SAMAMO) and also a barangay official in the island destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda last year.
The Redemptorist priest also explained that they currently waiting for a comprehensive report regarding the incident currently being drafted by SAMAMO so they could formally complain to the MGB.
He also mentioned that they have been informed that Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez is also preparing a letter to be addressed to Jasareno.
“Jasareno and the entire MGB need to understand that given the bad experiences of Manicani residents due to the mining operations, it will be very hard for them to accept this decision. In fact, because the mining activities left a large hole in the middle of the island, what the residents prefer is for the company to put all the ores back in the said hole and bury it again underground,” he furthered.
Castor also challenged Jasareno to visit Manicani and conduct a dialogue with the islanders “so he could hear sentiments from the ground directly.”