Thursday, December 02, 2004

SC Reversal on Mining Act is Treason: KPNE

PRESS RELEASE/December 1, 2004
Reference: Clemente Bautista, 09185539682

The Supreme Court reversal on Mining Act is Treason, PGMA's hand seen in court's decision.

The Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (KPNE) charged as "treason" the act of Supreme Court justices who voted to reverse the court's earlier decision on the constitutionality of the Philippine Mining Act. It also hit the SC for being blind to the fact that nowhere in R.A. 7942 as well as in existing mining agreements of the government with foreign mining firms is it guaranteed that the government retains control of mining operations as mandated by the Constitution.

"The SC acted in blind haste, most probably succumbing to the treasonous agenda of the Arroyo government to sell-out our mineral resources to rapacious foreign transnational mining firms in a desperate move to revive a moribund industry whose collapse is directly the result of an anti-Filipino mining policy of a pro-mining TNC government," Clemente Bautista, KPNE National Coordinator, said.

"This only goes to show that we cannot rely on this government to even uphold the remaining nationalist provisions of our Constitution. This government is totally bereft of a moral authority to govern for and in behalf of the Filipino people," he added.

Bautista said that the SC decision appears to be in line with the latest moves of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in lowering the initial capital requirements for Foreign Technical and Assistance Agreements from $50 million to $4 million.

Gerardo Gobrin of the Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan sa Pilipinas (KAMP) stressed that not only will the SC decision result into a flood of mining TNC operations in the country but in human rights violations against indigenous peoples and peasant settlers, where most mining applications are located, as well.

The KPNE also warned of more devastating natural disasters like flashfloods and landslides once the government's thrust to revitalize a liberalized mining industry as a result of the SC decision takes full swing. Bautista, however, warned the government, saying the people will not take this sitting down. "As the government and the elite in the mining industry and mining TNCs celebrate, they might as well brace for a stronger resistance from an enlightened citizenry who have had enough of the duplicitous and treasonous agenda of the government."

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