Network urges suspension of 20 mining companies

>> Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Scrap Mining Act of 1995 Network welcomed the recommendations of Secretary Gina Lopez and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of their audit of mining firms and sites to suspend 20 mining companies. 
“We appreciate that among those listed are the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co., Benguet Corporation and Oceana Gold. These three companies are responsible for the wanton destruction of indigenous peoples' ancestral lands and pollution of rivers in Northern Luzon,” the gtoup said in a statement.
“However, we urge Secretary Gina Lopez and the DENR to also suspend and immediately stop the operations of Taganito, Philex Mining Corp., and FCF Minerals for the well-known and publicized disasters caused by their mining activities.
“We also call on Sec. Lopez and the DENR to cancel the permit of Lepanto and immediately stop its expansion; and to revoke the contracts of the Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) and Toronto Venture Inc. (TVI) in Mindanao. The SMI and the TVI expansion in Zamboanga have not yet started full-blown activities but they have already killed legitimate community leaders and harassed those who oppose their operations.”
 Sec. Lopez and the DENR in their audit and decisions should highlight the violations of indigenous peoples' collective rights and how large-scale mining endangered the lives and livelihood of farmers and indigenous peoples. Most of these mining companies violated and continue to violate the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples. Most of these mining companies were able to operate without securing the genuine consent of IP groups and communities.
 The Scrap Mining Act of 1995 Network was established in response to the growing call to repeal the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, and the enactment of a new mining law that respects the rights of the indigenous peoples, protects the environment, upholds the national patrimony and aims to reorient the mining industry towards developing national industrialization.
The present Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and government policies on mining follow a colonial pattern where all our minerals are extracted and exported to industrialized and powerful countries instead of having a mining industry that supports the genuine industrialization, rural modernization and building a self-sufficient economy, the group said.
Their statement said indigenous peoples' rights are violated and lives lost with the kind of mining that the government continues to promote. Economic displacement and loss of livelihood occur whenever mining operations take place in indigenous communities. Legitimate opposition to large-scale mining operations face the brutality of company private guards and the state security forces.
“We pose the challenge to Secretary Gina Lopez and  the DENR to decisively revoke the mining permits and stop mining  operations that violate people’s rights and wantonly destroy the environment. Further, we urge Secretary Gina Lopez, the DENR and the Duterte government to reorient the mining industry to truly support national industrialization, respect the rights of the indigenous peoples, protect the environment and uphold the national patrimony. We also call on the Philippine Congress to heed the call of the Filipino people, immediately repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and enact the Peoples Mining Bill.”


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