Anti-mining leader in Nueva Vizcaya jailed

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya (Oct. 19) — London-based mining company Base Metals PLC, operating in the Philippines as FCF Mining Company and MTL Exploration Company, succeeded in putting in jail a local farmers’ leader for her anti-mining stance.

Runruno Landowners Association (Rulanas) leader Josie Guillao was arrested Thursday afternoon by the Chief of the PNP of Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya for grave slander, a criminal case, barely two days after the victory of Kasibu folk against Oxiana Philippines, whose suit against locals was rejected by the court.

“The warrant of arrest was issued by the Municipal Circuit Trial Court based in Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya,” according to Guillao who phoned in her ordeal past 5:00 Thursday afternoon. Her sister-in-law, Kathleen Guillao, has just left the office of the Dapon Indigenous Peoples Center where she worked to prepare legal documents for the claims of damages caused MTL exploration activities when Josie called.

Guillao, a native of the Kankaney tribe and a mother of three children, has been a vocal critic of FCF and MTL’s exploration operations in their area.

According to reports from Nueva Vizcaya-based Save the Valley, Serve the People Alliance spokesperson Abe Almirol, Guillao was arrested and detained without a preliminary investigation by the Philippine National Police Chief Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya for “Grave Slander,” docketed as Criminal Case No. 1307 at the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Villaverde and Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya.

According to Almirol, the warrant was issued October 17 and was served 4 pm yesterday at Guillao’s residence by a certain Inspector Bongayan.

Meanwhile in London, environmental activists from Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) and the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) have brought Guillao’s case to the attention of other delegates to the 3rd International Strategy Conference of Mines and Communities (MAC) at a public forum held yesterday.

Kalikasan PNE National Coordinator Clemente Bautista Jr. said that they are currently gathering support on the issue of human rights violations against Philippine environmental advocates from other MAC members from Africa, India, Indonesia, Canada, US and the European Union. # Via NORDIS


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