Enforce the law, Close the Mines!

Press Statement

September 7, 2017

The Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz, Zambales (CCOS) and the Ang Aroroy Ay Alagaan (4A’s) of Masbate demand the Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB) enforce DENR’s closure and suspension order of mining firms that have violated the law.

The mining-affected communities from Zambales and Masbate marched in front of the MGB in Quezon City and held a protest rally. After the short program, the protesters padlocked the gate of the government agency.

Last August 25, 2017, the Alyansa Tigil Mina and civil society organizations resisting mining operations submitted a letter to the Office of the President (OP) requesting for a dialogue. The OP brought their concern to the MGB as expected.

According to Dr. Benito E. Molino, Chairperson of CCOS, “Just like the previous administrations, our request to talk to the president to deliver our demands and grievances were once again brought down to the MGB. Based on our experience, this government agency will just give another set of false promises - nothing will happen.”

Molino explained that, “The mining firms in Zambales continue to operate despite the Writ of Kalikasan issued by the Supreme Court and the closure orders from DENR. It’s business as usual for the miners in Sta. Cruz. They continue to steal the minerals, destroy our environment, and harass people. Now, our farmlands and fishing areas were buried in mud and nickel laterite. Mining companies must be held accountable for this.”

Meanwhile, in Aroroy, Masbate, people struggle to shut down the operation of Filminera Resources Corporation.

Marilou Verano of 4A’s shared her experience living in the mining area, “People in Aroroy are getting sick because of the smoke from Filminera’s facilities and of cyanide-contaminated food and water. The threat of being buried alive lingers as their siltation pond and stockpiles are about to crash. We do not deserve to bear these worries. We do not deserve to live in a wrecked environment. We are hoping that Pres. Duterte will hear our voice and see our struggle to save Aroroy for the next generation.”

Our organization, the Alyansa Tigil Mina, shares the same advocacy with these mining-affected communities. We support their fight against the abusive and destructive large-scale mining operations. We will continue to strengthen their society and to stand for their environmental and community rights.

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Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

For more details:

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>

Karl Isaac Santos, ATM Media and Communications Staff, (0917) 149.17.17<media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net>

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