Mining firm eyes suit vs protesters-A A +A
Saturday, October 6, 2012
LAWYERS of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation (LCMC) are in the process of preparing appropriate legal charges against identified protesters who stopped the implementation of court orders last month.
In a press statement, resident manager Engr. Magellan Bagayao said it was picketers who first got violent during dispersal operations last month.
“The sheriffs and the PNP personnel then attempted to peacefully disperse the protesters, who violently resisted, by throwing rocks and stones and pushing the PNP personnel and Sheriffs,” he said.
Bagayao said another attempt to implement the order was done. “However, at the drill site, the protesters (totaling around 300) – some covered their faces with only eyes showing, were again gathered and poised to block the implementers.”
He said sheriffs and police personnel were again met with defiance and the same unruly stance of the protesters. The protesters held wooden clubs and piles of rocks and stones were seen around the premises, ready for their use.
“Sensing that the attempt to implement might unnecessarily lead to physical confrontation, the lead sheriff decided to call off the implementation,” Bagayao said.
“The protesters’ acts are in complete disregard of the Rule of Law. They have shown utter disrespect for the Court, its officers and even the police. These acts should not be tolerated. We are still a government of laws and I firmly believe in the NCIP and the Court,” he added.
Recently, Governor Nestor Fongwan asked LCMC to hold all court proceedings imploring to the ethical as well as cultural conscience of mining giant to give way to the ongoing Free, Prior and Informed Consent proceedings.
Fongwan said it is crucial for Mankayan folk to focus on the FPIC process being conducted now to decide on the fate of Goldfields Philippines project, Far South East ore body within the LCMC area.
Joan Gatchalian, designated information officer of LCMC, has yet to give a comment regarding the governor’s plea.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 06, 2012.