|The Boac river environmental disaster|
It has been a staunch supporter of the Marinduque struggle for truth and environmental justice after disasters wrought by mining operation in the island for many years. The Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC) has likewise been actively involved in supporting ATM efforts to protect other communities threatened by large-scale mining operations.
Very recently, the Chamber of Mines in the Philippines (CoMP), even made a statement that ATM was actively involved in the mining audit process undertaken by the DENR under Sec. Gina Lopez.
In a statement ATM maintained that the results of the Mining Audit were credible, saying:
Our impression is that the decision to close and suspend the mines relied on a whole set of references and evidences – the mining audit, the report of the Technical Review Committee, the local reports of NGOs and LGUs submitted as addendum to the mining audit, news coverages, documents from legal cases in various courts and quasi-judicial bodies, LGU resolutions and ordinances against mining projects, aerial surveys of mining areas, and ground interaction by DENR officials in the mining-affected communities. From our own database, there is overwhelming documentation and evidences that prove the closures and suspensions are with merit.
ATM further expressed surprise that CoMP is "suddenly concerned about jobs and livelihoods of poor families" when the mining industry has created havoc on the lives of mining-affected communities. "If only they exhibited the same grief when mining disasters hit Benguet, Rapu-Rapu and Marinduque", ATM said.
The full ATM statement could be read in this link.
|School children crossing an AMD contaminated river in Boac. Screenshot from GMA's 'Lason sa Paraiso'|
It sounds woefully ridiculous therefore, that the Marinduque problem, where the real impact of mining and dangers posed to the communities became quite obvious that so moved public opinion more than any previous disasters is now ignored.
It is woefully ridiculous that at a time that may be considered historic, because change indeed could come at last, and a stop to the exploit of mining communities, the Marinduque issue that only benefited the rich and powerful and left the poor fending for themselves, is nowhere to be found. So suddenly!
Is this a case of selective amnesia by those concerned? So undeserved by the people of Marinduque in general, but in particular those who have suffered, their lives threatened by more disasters and health issues for so long but kept alive to this day their zeal to seek justice?