In response to a petition filed by residents of Sibuyan Island in Romblon, the Supreme Court has issued a writ of kalikasan, highlighting concerns over the destruction of the island’s ecosystem.
The writ of kalikasan, a legal recourse available to individuals or groups whose constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology is violated or at risk, targets the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC).
The residents of Sibuyan Island submitted the petition for the protective writ on February 6, expressing their opposition to APMC’s mining exploration activities.
Supreme Court has mandated that the respondents file a comment on the petition within 10 days of receiving the writs.
Despite granting the writ of kalikasan, the Supreme Court denied the petitioners’ plea for a Temporary Environmental Protection Order.
In February, the DENR Mimaropa, MGB, and Environmental Management Bureau already ordered APMC to halt the construction and operations of its causeway as a precautionary measure against potential irreparable damage to the environment in the island. This was after police wearing riot gear forcefully dismantled the barricade setup by residents since January 2023, allowing trucks carrying nickel ore to pass, and resulting in injuries to two residents.
The environmental agencies also suspended APMC’s ore transport permit and directed the mining company to cease transporting nickel ore from the contract site to the causeway. (PJF)