Friday, January 23, 2015

Belated Marinduque resolution declares Barrick offer unacceptable in its substance, amount, form, structure and disadvantageous to the people

Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) members during the 18th anniversary of the Boac River disaster in March 24, 2014 declared that the province has already rejected the proposed compromise settlement agreement offered by Barrick Gold.

It took another five months for the SP to draft a resolution stating that the Province had indeed rejected the Barrick offer, on August 14, 2014. After another two months, starting October 14, 2014, the said document was signed/released to the municipal governments. Concerned environmental organizations in the province and "all others concerned" have yet to receive a copy.


Resolution No. 407 Series 2014

Resolution declaring unacceptable the proposed settlement agreement being offered by Barrick Gold Corporation to the Province of Marinduque, in its substance, amount, form and structure for being disadvantageous to the people of Marinduque and its environment, letting the litigations be pursued and leaving to the Court the decision on the said case.

Whereas, the Province of Marinduque, through its Outside Legal Counsel, filed a Civil Case at the District Court of Nevada, U.S.A., against Barrick Gold Corporation for the environmental damages and devastations it has caused the province, its environment and its people, as a result of their mining operation in the province;

Whereas, on September 11, 2013, the province's outside legal counsel, Atty. Walter J. "Skipp" Scott, presented to the officials of the province, including the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, a proposed settlement agreement being offered by Barrick Gold Corporation to the province, as an out of court settlement offer in consideration of the amount of $21Million;

Whereas, the said settlement offer was referred to the Committee on Environmental Protection and Human Resources, for its study and recommendation, which, pursuant to its Committee Report No. 18-2014, recommended that the matter be referred to the Committee En Banc considering the profound legal aspect involved;

Whereas, acting on the matter, the Committee En Banc conducted various committee meetings and consultative meetings with the different stakeholders and environment advocates, which even reached the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection in Malacanang, to seek expert advise and to help them decide on the crucial matter at hand.

Whereas, a General Consultative Meeting was even conducted to give every concerned individuals, groups, associations, organizations, as well as ordinary concerned citizens of the province to air their concerns and their feelings regarding the proposal of Barrick;

Whereas, all the Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan were requested to submit their individual Position Papers regarding the Proposed Settlement Agreement and its attached documents, particularly the Statement of Stipulated Facts, the Indemnity Agreement, and the Settlement Trust;

Whereas, series of consultations were also made by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan with the province's Legal Counsel, some Environment Lawyers and experts, and the so-called Provincial Legal Team, to aid the Body in understanding deeply the legal issues involving the said proposal;

Wherefore, after thorough deliberations, consultations and discussions on the Proposed Settlement Agreement and pursuant to the Recommendations of the En Banc Committee, as contained in its Committee Report No. 27-2014, the 13th Sangguniang Panlalawigan hereby:

RESOLVED, as it is hereby resolved, to DECLARE UNACCEPTABLE THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BEING OFFERED BY BARRICK GOLD CORPORATION TO THE PROVINCE OF MARINDUQUE, IN ITS SUBSTANCE, AMOUNT, FORM AND STRUCTURE FOR BEING DISADVANTAGEOUS TO THE PEOPLE OF MARINDUQUE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT, LETTING THE LITIGATIONS BE PURSUED AND LEAVING TO THE COURT THE DECISION ON THE SAID CASE.

Resolved, further, that copy of the Committee Report No. 27-2014 of the Committee of the Whole be made part and parcel of this resolution.

Resolved, finally, that copy of this resolution be furnished, the Provincial Governor, the Province's Outside Legal Counsel, the Mayors of the Six (6) Municipalities of the province, the Concerned Environmental Organizations in the province, and all others concerned, for their information and guidance.

Adopted, this 14th day of August, 2014 at Boac, Marinduque.

CERTIFIED CORRECT:

NIMFA M. CABRERA, 
Secretary, SP

ATTESTED:

ROMULO A. BACORRO, JR., MD, MHSA,
Vice-Governor and Presiding Officer



Also read:

What again is going on? PGM vs Barrick Gold: Oral arguments February 3 in Nevada

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