Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"We will release Barrick, sue government but I really don't know who owns Marcopper" - Expert witness

Isabel Ball, HELM Marinduque, asking the expert witness

Roque: I think I read an article in the Inquirer, were you the one who wrote the article?

Mrs. Ball: No I haven’t done that…
Roque: I read an article in the Inquirer and I presented it to the conference that I attended. I told the participants in the South African Conference, that I’m sure the (inaudible) of the deal will go to them because there was EarthRights, there was Greenpeace and I explained to the conference why as far as the group experts that are (inaudible) to give its testimony but who also attended the mediation in Hongkong, in Las Vegas and San Francisco, why we think it's the only deal for the province..


Ball: Accepting the deal also includes accepting the conditions, correct? Also previously a while ago you made a comment that you are going to pursue, you know, to fight for the case for us, ok?... But how can you do that... as I understand one of the conditions I think, said that Barrick is immune for any further lawsuits.. there's a little bit of inconsistencies... can you explain...?
Roque: ... Ang tanong po ay paano po natin ipaglalaban itong paglilinis kung ire-release na natin yung Barrick. Ang kasagutan ko po diyan. Investor po kasi ang Barrick dun sa  Marcopper. Huwag niyo pong kalilimutan na 51% ng Marcopper ay gobyerno ng Pilipinas. 49% lamang yung dayuhan diyan, okay? So yun po yung Barrick, yung 49% na yan. Ang hindi ko pa ngayon alam kung ano talaga ang estado ngayon ng Marcopper, kung sino na ang may-ari. Sabi nung ating unyon, lumabas yung pangalang Bernardino... Hindi ko po ngayon alam talaga kung sino na ang nagmamay-ari ng Marcopper.
(Roque: ...The question is how could we fight for the cleanup if we release Barrick. My answer to that. Barrick is an investor in Marcopper. Don't forget that 51% of Marcopper is the government of the Philippines. Only 49% is foreign, okay? So that is Barrick, that 49%. What I really don't know at present is the real status of Marcopper, whoever owns it now. According to our Union, the name Bernardino was mentioned... I really don't know now whoever owns Marcopper.)
Pero dahil sa batas po ang mga korporasyon ay may mga personalidad na bukod pa dun sa mga nagmamay-ari ng shares niya, ang Marcopper po ngayon ay buhay pa. Pupuwede pang mapanagot ang Marcopper. Dun po sa kasunduan, wala pong nakasulat dun na niri-release ang Marcopper. Ang Barrick lang po.
(But because according to the law corporations have personalities that are separate from those who own shares, so Marcopper now is still alive. Marcopper could still be held liable. In the agreement, there is nothing written there that releases Marcopper. It's just Barrick.)
At wala rin pong kasunduan dun na nire-release natin ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas. Ayaw ko pong awayin ngayon ang national government. Pero simula nung unang-una isipin niyo po,  51% naman ang national government. At kung titingnan ninyo ang remedyo ng Writ of Kalikasan, ang inoorderan ng gobyerno para linisin ay hindi naman mga pribadong entity kundi ang gobyerno… (watch the video for more of Roque's statements)
...Ang gagawin natin, yung mga may responsibilidad na maglinis pa mula ng nangyari itong pangyayari nitong 1996, dapat masiguro na gawin nila yung kanilang mga trabaho.
Ball: What kind of assurance can we get that the government is going to do and pursue the rehabilitation, Attorney?
Roque: Alam nyo pa kasi, kaya nga po... bago kasi lamang yung Writ of Kalikasan e. Yung Writ of Kalikasan talaga ang dinidimanda po, Gobyerno! Sinasabi ko sa Department of Environment and Natural Resources, gawin mo yung trabaho mo na pangalagaan ang kalikasan.. (more on video)
Ball: That's another barrier for us.
Roque: Opo, pero kasama nyo po ako diyan. Itaga ninyo po yan sa bato. Iiwan ko kayo matapos nitong pagpupulong na ito. Alam nyo po'ng walang isang pagsasalita si Harry Roque.
(And there is no agreement there releasing the government of the Philippines. I do not want to quarrel with the national government. But from the beginning, just think. 51% is owned by the national government. And if you look at the remedy of Writ of Kalikasan, the entity being ordered by the government to do cleanup are not private entities but the government (itself)... 
What we will do is, those responsible for the cleanup from the time the disaster happened in 1996, we have to ensure that they would do their job.)
Ball: What kind of assurance can we get that the government is going to do and pursue the rehabilitation, Attorney?
Roque: Well you know, that's why... because the Writ of Kalikasan is new. That Writ of Kalikasan really, who's being sued is the government! I am saying to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, do your job to take care of the environment... (more on video)
Ball: That's another barrier for us.
Roque: Yes, but I will be with you there. You may cut that in stone. I will be leaving you after this meeting. You know Harry Roque has not a single word.) 

"You may cut that in stone. I will be leaving you after this meeting. You know Harry Roque has not a single word." 

"Itaga ninyo po yan sa bato. Iiwan ko kayo matapos nitong pagpupulong na ito. 
Alam nyo po'ng walang isang pagsasalita si Harry Roque."

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