Green Group Lambasts Dutertismo and Duterte’s Betrayal of the Environment and Communities

Press Release | Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) | March 4, 2022


As it launched its Mining Hell Week today, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) lambasted President Duterte and Dutertismo, describing it as “a deceitful populist authoritarian strategy that panders to big mining firms at the expense of nature and the marginalized poor.”


“As Duterte nears the end of his presidency, he leaves behind acts of betrayal against the environment and mining-affected communities. His legacy is EO 130, revealing again that his iron fist is for the benefit of big business and not for marginalized communities and nature”, said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.


Garganera explained that with EO 130 as Duterte’s mining policy, Duterte has completely reversed the gains towards rational mining and the protection of the country’s natural resources. “Duterte has declared mining as an essential industry, which practically gives a seal of approval for mining companies to plunder the environment and destroy communities.”


Last April 13, 2021, Duterte issued EO 130, which effectively reversed several protective guidelines from EO 70 or the mining policy under the Aquino administration. EO 130 has the following effects: i) lifts the moratorium on mining applications ii) reduces the role of local government units in accepting or rejecting mining projects, and iii) reverses the administrative orders to suspend or cancel mining contracts that violated environmental laws. In line with EO 130, DENR also issued in December 2021 DAO 2021-40, which lifts the ban on open-pit mining.


“Duterte’s iron fist and his kowtowing to mining corporations have proven to be deadly, especially for indigenous communities. It was under his administration that the Philippines became one of the deadliest countries for land rights defenders. Women environmental rights defenders are met with threats, red-tagging and legal harassment,”said Judy Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) and also ATM Council of Leaders member.

“Under the Duterte administration, the lies and manipulation of consent processes, especially within ancestral domains, have persisted. Meanwhile, we see the indigenous communities are made more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of the destruction of their environment caused by mining,” Pasimio added.


Meanwhile, Garganera pointed out that “while Filipinos were struggling with the Covid pandemic, mining companies and DENR were colluding to fast-track mining projects, lacking transparency and disregarding rights of affected communities and local governments.” He added that: “Worse, they push the mining agenda by adopting the rhetoric of ‘responsible’ mining.”


According to Garganera, “responsible mining is fake news” and is similar to the concept of “sustainable mining”, which has been discredited at the international arena. “Responsible mining is a form of misinformation propagated by the mining industry so that mining becomes acceptable to stakeholders.”


According to the Responsible Mining Index 2022 report of the Responsible Mining Foundation: “The vast majority of the 250 assessed mine sites across 53 countries cannot demonstrate that they are informing and engaging with host communities and workers on basic risk factors such as environmental impacts, safety issues or grievances.”


“If we are looking for data about mining, this is clear evidence that most mining companies do not exercise responsibility over environmental impacts nor engage with mining-affected communities on safety issues,” Garganera said.


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