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Cimatu reminded to pay attention to Duterte’s words on mining

Press Release

13 July 2017

Cimatu reminded to pay attention to Duterte’s words on mining

NGOs hit MGB official comments on ban on open-pit mining

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a coalition of mining-affected communities and their support groups, reminded DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu to “listen closely and heed” President Duterte’s position on irresponsible mining.

ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera said that Sec. Cimatu should pay attention to the recent remarks of Pres. Duterte, expressing his frustration against mining companies who wreaked havoc on the environment. Pres. Duterte was quoted using colorful language that he will cut off the heads of rich miners if they don’t repair farms ravaged by mining. Duterte made the comment yesterday, during the anniversary of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, in Quezon City.

The alliance also raised concern over the recent remarks of a Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) executive saying that the order of former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Gina Lopez prohibiting open-pit mining has “no legal basis.”

“We are wary of the statement of Engr. Larry Heradez on this existing Department Order banning open pit mining for copper, gold, silver and complex ores. It is improper and prejudicial to the review process being done by the DENR and MGB.” said Garganera. ATM’s position is that the government has the right to impose policies that will ensure the protection and conservation of our environment and natural resources. We believe that then Sec. Gina Lopez’s ban on open pit mining has basis and is logical because of the issue of perpetual damage and liabilities caused by open pit mines, Garganera added.

Garganera described the opinion of Engr. Heradez as “premature” and “biased”.

Recently, newly appointed DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu suspended the implementation of Lopez’s order on the issuance of environmental compliance certificate (ECC) giving back to DENR’s regional offices the authority to issue permits and licenses for speedy processing of project applications.

Also now, Sec. Cimatu and his team are reviewing the appeals of mining companies ordered closed or suspended as a result of the mining audit during Lopez’s time. Garganera concluded, “Sec. Cimatu has the prerogative to decide on this but we hope that he will not give in to the pressure of the mining industry and implement policies that will give them freedom to destroy our country. We hope that as he promised in his first day in office that he will work for the environment and the Filipino people who depend on a healthy environment.”


ATM is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines.

For more information:

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02 <>

Karl Isaac Santos, Media and Communications Officer, (0917) 149.17.17<>

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