Green advocates demand accountability for pro-mining policies; conduct satirical arrest of Duterte
Press Statement | Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) | March 10, 2022
Activists and leaders advocating for a rational minerals management policy conducted a creative protest action in front of the DENR central office in commemoration of the enactment of the Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942) twenty-seven (27) years ago.
Protestors biked and marched towards DENR while chanting “Duterte at DENR, Taksil sa Kalikasan: Panagutin! Panagutin!”
Dramatizing a strong message to the administration, they arrested and handcuffed artists that imitated Duterte and a DENR official. “For the past six years, Duterte and DENR have betrayed their mandate to conserve and protect our national resources as well as their responsibility to marginalized communities who are adversely impacted by mining,” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, CBCP-NASSA/Caritas Philippines' National Director who biked to the DENR said: “In these last months of the Duterte presidency, we do not forget his broken promises and empty rhetoric concerning destructive mining. We also do not forget the culpability of DENR who has been pro-active in promoting mining and justifies the flawed Mining Act of 1995.”
“Duterte and DENR must pay for their betrayal of the environment and communities”, said Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas. “Duterte’s policies must be revoked and the existing mining laws overhauled to be replaced by new ones that put a premium on the environment and the interests of mining-affected communities.”
He explained that among the pro-mining policies of the Duterte administration are: 1) the issuance of E0 130, which reversed the gains achieved during the time of the late Sec. Gina Lopez, 2) the imposition of DAO 2021-40, which lifts the ban on open-pit mining, 3) declaring mining as an “essential industry”, and 4) the propaganda on “responsible mining”.
“We also hold accountable the mining companies for their violations and non-compliance with the laws. During this elections, they also hold captive electoral candidates through their campaign contributions as they ensure that their supported candidates push for their mining agenda, “ said Garganera.
Garganera also emphasized the need to elect leaders who would champion the cause of the environment and indigenous communities. “We need leaders who will work for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, replacing it with the Alternative Minerals Management Bill, which rationalizes the mining industry towards national development.
ATM’s protest action at the DENR is simultaneously being held with the creative actions in different mining Sites of Struggles (SOS). The day’s actions are part of ATM’s Mining Hell Week activities.
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