Sunday, June 14, 2015

Or. Mindoro and Batangas anti-mining protests: They learn from us, we learn from them



Mindoreños protest the Aquino administration's granting of clearance to resume the mining operations of Norwegian firm Intex. Photos courtesy of Inquirer.net




ORIENTAL MINDORO

Earlier on the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action joined Alyansa Tigil Mina and Alyansa Laban sa Mina in voicing anger over Intex ECC's reinstatement seen "as a symbol of the Office of the President and the undeniable betrayal of the Mindorenos' welfare and trust".

"We will not let this betrayal extinguish our fire of passion to protect our lands and mountains against corporate greed, pursued in collusion with our own government," CBCP NASSA executive director Fr. Edu Gariguez said on the CBCP news site.


“Mindoreños are one in opposing mining in the province, as this will destroy our fragile ecosystem. The people of Mindoro do not deserve this kind of betrayal from the government, the very same that should be upholding and protecting our rights and our environment,” he added.


In November 2009, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources temporarily revoked Intex’s ECC due to questions over how the firm got the certificate.


"Intex’s ECC reinstatement is a symbol of the Office of the President and the (DENR)’s undeniable betrayal of the Mindoreños welfare and trust,” he said.


ATM coordinator Jaybee Garganera said the act was "invalid and contrary to the position of the local government as well as of the affected communities.”


Also, he said Malacañang and DENR must “feel ashamed” for putting corporate business interest above the best interest of Mindoreños and the environment. 



BATANGAS



Over in Lobo, Batangas more than four hundred participants walked out from a public hearing on mining projects facilitated by the Environmental Management Bureau in Punta Malabrigo, Lobo..
Fr. Dakila Ramos of the Archdiocesan Ministry for Environment (AMEN), said they walked out because of the lack of transparency of the government agency and the mining company.
The hearing set to discuss the environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports for two large-scale mining projects in Lobo, Batangas was declared a sham by the people.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles who led the walk-out said: “Any public hearing needs full transparency, how could we have transparency in this hearing if we the stakeholders are not given the copy Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the mining company. We only have the executive summary that has no details of their EIA. This public hearing should be declared void”.

MARINDUQUE


The same lack of transparency and failure to provide critical information to the people in matters that will directly impact their lives and the environment, in addition to deliberate deception applied by the powers that shouldn't be have apparently also hounded the cases up to the present time involving Marcopper and Barrick Gold after the worst environmental accident that transpired in Marinduque in 1996. 

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