Sunday, June 15, 2014

Marinduque Movers' strong stand against Barrick compromise deal

Marinduque Movers makes a stand vehemently opposing acceptance of compromise proposal offered by Barrick Gold. It also joined the massive call by municipalities of Boac, Buenavista, Gasan and Mogpog for immediate rejection by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the deal. 

In a resolution unanimousy approved by its board of trustees the group also urged Gov. Carmencita O. Reyes of Marinduque to make formal and public her official stand on the proposed compromise settlement.

Marinduque First Saturday Movers is a formal group of well-known professionals, businessmen, and former high-ranking government officials from Marinduque who have held national and local government positions. Movers continues to live up to its committment to unify Marinduquenos and friends of Marinduque, providing moral support and dissemination of information, among others, toward improving the quality of life for the people of Marinduque.

It will be recalled that the matter concerning the proposed deal was first taken up in a public forum in January 2012 at the session hall of the provincial government amid complaints that stakeholders are being kept in the dark. Details of the proposed agreement were not made public until almost two years later when a few copies found their way into social media.

Mainstream media has likewise variously reported on the issues involved on this case, a case that refuses to die with Palace people, high-profile lawyers and officials doing everything in their power for "multiple extensions of its life".

The Barrick offer for settlement of this case filed by the Marinduque Government for massive environmental damages to the island-province for three decades of irresponsible mining has been described as "onerous', "unacceptable", "unconscionable" because of terms and conditions that simply belie all the truths about the extensively documented mining experience on this island.


Resolution from Marinduque Movers vehemently
opposing acceptance of Barrick compromise proposal

Despite more than a year of so-called consultative meetings with stakeholders who have been vocal about their rejection of the terms and conditions of the agreement, and public pronouncements by certain local government officials ensuring disapproval of the deal, no final rejection has ever been made by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to-date.

March meeting with Roque

In a public forum with Atty. Harry Roque acting as expert witness, he disclosed that the USD 20-million offered by Barrick Gold includes the missing escrow funds set up by Placer Dome before its departure from the province in 2001. Roque belied reports that the escrow fund has already been received by the provincial government but did not explain the figures he stated, which was only US 8-million. The amount deposited by Placer Dome in escrow was US 12-million. Read

Roque also claimed before Marinduque stakeholders in March this year that jurisprudence in Canada, a possible venue for filing a lawsuit against Barrick, no longer allows litigation of cases for events that did not take place in Canada. 

This claim has been debunked by Research Coordinator Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada who after citing specific facts, clarified that "there is no legal reason why Marinduque cannot continue its case against Barrick in Canada. Bothe the Nevada judge and Barrick have argued that Canada is the appropriate place for the case to continue."

"Furthermore, there are lawyers and law firms in Canada who would be very interested in pursuing a case such as this one.", Coumans added.

Coumans also chided Marinduque's U.S. legal counsel on the case feeling strongly that "as Marinduquenos consider their options, it is the responsibility of Marinduque's lawyer, Atty. Walter Scott to ensure that his clients are given valid, and complete information by anyone associated with him and with the case." 

Excerpt from Marinduque Mover's Resolution follows:

“BE IT RESOLVED, to manifest its official stand on the matter, and expresses its VEHEMENT OPPOSITION AGAINST THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE COMPROMISE PROPOSAL OFFERED BY BARRICK GOLD, AND DO HEREBY JOIN THE MASSIVE CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE REJECTION BY THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF THE SAID COMPROMISE SETTLEMENT;

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, THAT HON. GOVERNOR CARMENCITA O. REYES MAKE FORMAL  AND PUBLIC HER OFFICIAL STAND ON THE PROPOSED COMPROMISE SETTLEMENT;

“BE IT LIKEWISE RESOLVED, to create a special legal group which is mandated to study and make recommendations to the Board in regard the possible legal action that may be taken should the resolution be unheeded;

“RESOLVED FINALLY TO, serve copies of this resolution His Excellency, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, the Honorable Governor of Marinduque, the Honorable Vice-Governor and Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Marinduque, the Honorable Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and Sangguniang Bayan Members of the Municipalities of Boac, Buenavista, Gasan and Mogpog, Marinduque, and the President of MACEC, for their information and perusal.”

Copy of the Saturday Movers' Secretary's Certificate shown here signed by Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr., Corporate Secretary and attested by Gen. Recaredo Sarmiento (Retired), President/Chairman.


Also read:

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Susong Dalaga Hill
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