De Lima vents grave concern over Chinese-funded mining project in Zambales

Detained Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed grave concern over the “suspicious construction” of a P200-M worth Ferro-Nickel Plant nickel mining project in Candelaria, Zambales which would reportedly be heavily funded by Chinese investors.

De Lima cited reports saying that Fujian Hengrun Investment Co., Ltd of China and Filipino firms Westchinamin Corp. and Easternreach Mining Group, Inc. have agreed to put up Ferro-Nickel Plant in Candelaria, Zambales.

“The indiscriminate mining operations in Zambales continue to wreak environmental havoc. Our mountains are stripped of top soil and our river waters are turning all red due to heavy mud,” she said.

“But what’s worse, the government, particularly Mr. Duterte, is obviously willing to allow unscrupulous Chinese contractors rape our environment at the detriment of our natural resources as well as the livelihood of our local residents,” she added.

De Lima said there is a need to scrutinize all government dealings with regards to mining operations, especially the construction of a Ferro-Nickel Plant in Zambales, to be fully aware of their effect to the residents and impact to the generations to come.

“The government has the obligation to protect the environment and at the same time ensure the wellbeing of the people. Abandoning the people by disregarding their safety and needs is an outright dereliction of one’s duty,” she said.