Thursday, May 29, 2014

Harry Roque's bombshell.

Marinduque's case filed in Nevada against Barrick Gold and the proposed settlement. Marinduque found the proposed settlement unacceptable. Strong speeches were delivered by some provincial board members during the March 24 protest rally in Boac conveying the commitment of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to reject the settlement as they have purported to have done as early as October 2, 2013 through a Resolution. Read here and here

By some twist, Atty. Harry Roque, acting as an expert witness recommending approval of the deal, now admits in this video that the escrow fund ($12M) intended for cleanup of the Boac River is part of the $20M deal, no part of which could be used for environmental remediation. 

Chief American counsel of the Marinduque government in this case previously denied the escrow fund existed, claiming it is "a myth built on hope but no less a myth", a statement he would later change by saying the funds have been 'depleted'. Read 

The outright, wholesale deception of the people of Marinduque continues.


Roque on the Escrow

"…Yung pondo po na diumano ay natanggap na ng probinsya ay hindi pa po 'yan natatanggap. 'Yan po ay naka-escrow, at ngayon po na nagkaroon ng… ang escrow, ang ibig sabihin po nakadeposito lamang, dahil ang escrow na yan ay para sa paglilinis. Pero dahil hindi nga sapat, ito’y mga eight million dollars ($8-M) hindi rin naman nagamit. So intact pa po yang pondong 'yan at itong eight million na 'yan, kasama po 'yan dun sa ibibigay na 20-million sa probinsya."

(Translation: The funds allegedly already received by the province, that has not yet been received. That is held on escrow, and now that there has been... escrow, that only means it has been deposited, because that escrow is for the clean-up. But because it is not sufficient, this is about eight million dollars, it was not used. So those funds are still intact, and those eight million dollars, that is part of the 20-million dollar offer to the province.) 

"Tanong, e bakit naman yung agreement, e yung lenguahe ng agreement, hindi umaamin ng pananagutan ang Barrick? Alam ninyo po tinanong ko po ito dun sa mga kasama ko sa South Africa, lalong lalo na yung Center for Constitutional Rights, yung nagdemanda kay Filartiga, 'yung nagdemanda sa Unocal. Ang sabi po nila, e wala naman kasing compromise agreement na umaamin ng liability. Kaya nga nagbabayad, para matapos na yung hidwaan. Pero kasama diyan yung katunayan na, as a matter of fact, wala namang umaamin ng liability sa isang compromise agreement."

(Question, why is it that the agreement, the language of the agreement, does not admit Barrick's liabilities? You know I asked my colleagues in South Africa, particularly those from the Center for Constitutional Rights who sued Filartiga, who sued Unocal. They said, there is no compromise agreement that admits the liability. The reason for paying is simply to end the case. But that includes proof that, as a matter of fact, there is no admission of liability in a compromise agreement). 

"So ang aking mensahe po…  ako po’y sumapi dito sa kasong ito dahil sa paninindigan, na kapag merong karapatan na nalabag, kinakailangan na magkaron ng remedyo. Nagkaron naman po tayo ng remedyo. Kung dati po’y wala, ngayon po meron halos isang bilyon (P 1-Billion). Hindi nga po sapat na remedyo ito, pero ganyan po talaga ang mundo. Dahil hindi naman natin inaasahan na ang Estados Unidos, kung saan dati’y tinitingala natin bilang isang bansa na magbibigay ng remedyo sa mga inaapi, e ngayon po isinarado na ang kanilang mga pinto ng kanilang mga hukuman."

(So, my message is... I joined this case because of the resolve, that when a right is violated, there must be a remedy. We have a remedy. When before there was none, now there is almost one billion (pesos). This is not enough remedy, but the world is like that. Because we never expected that the United States, that we used to look up to as a country that provides remedies to the oppressed, now has closed the doors of their Courts.)

"So ano po ang aking rekomendasyon?  Bilang aktibista po, as a matter of fact pa rin dahil gusto ko makakuha ng sapat para tuluyang malinis ang probinsya ng Marinduque. Gaya ninyo po nalulungkot ako na halos wala ng isda sa karagatan ng Marinduque, pero katunayan po dumating na po tayo sa punto na wala na po tayong makukuha beyond dun sa isang bilyon na napagkasunduan doon sa mediation."

(So, what is my recommendation? As an activist... still as a matter of fact because I want to obtain enough for the eventual cleanup of the province of Marinduque. Like you, I am saddened by the fact that there are no fishes left in the waters of Marinduque, but the truth is that we have reached a point where we cannot obtain anything more beyond the one billion agreed upon during the mediation.)

"Meron pa po ba tayong pupuwedeng gawin? Well, ang aking pangako po sa inyo - hindi po ako mawawala sa Marinduque dahil naniniwala pa rin ako na hindi pa rin tapos itong proseso upang makamit ang katarungan para sa probinsya.
In fact, ang isang katanungan ko: National Government, 51% of Marcopper. Ano bang ginawa ninyo para nyo linisin ang Marinduque? Pero saka na po natin pag-usapan ‘yan. Kunin ninyo muna ‘yung inyong isang bilyon…”

(Are there other things that we could do? Well, my promise to you - I will not disappear from Marinduque because I still believe that this process has not ended to obtain justice for the province. In fact, my one question: National Governmen, 51% of Marcopper. What have you done for the clean-up of Marinduque? But we will talk about that another time. Just take first your one billion..."

(continued)


Proverbs 6:16-19 


There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Susong Dalaga Hill

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Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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