Nickel mining in Philippines: provincial governor to be charged with murder of anti-mining activist
News channel Al-Jazeera has a new documentary (below) investigating nickel mining in the Philippines' Palawan province, described as "being riddled by subplots of corruption and crime" and which has created a rift between government, business and local communities.
In January last year local radio broadcaster Gerry Ortega, who fought hard for a ban on mining on the island over environmental concerns, was slain in the Palawan capital Puerto Princesa.
Last week Philippines' Department of Justice overturned an earlier decision and asked for murder charges to be filed against former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes – responsible for handing out mining permits on the island – and four others in connection with his death.
In February a draft executive order by the president of the Philippines was leaked that showed the Asian archipelago is looking at a major revamp of its mining sector that could include banning mining in more areas, stricter rules for resource companies and new taxes.
Palawan was also in the news last year when the 8km-long Puerto Princesa subterranean river on the island was chosen as one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature, according to organizers of a global poll conducted via social media.