Monday, October 10, 2005

An Illegitimate Government Has No Right to Deal on Matters Involving National Patrimony

October 10, 2005

An Illegitimate Government Has No Right to Deal on Matters Involving National Patrimony

The Philippines has an illegitimate government and it is poised to sell the remaining mineral and natural resources in the coming Asia Pacific Conference on Mining on October 11-13, 2005. Beaming at the controversial reversal of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality question of the Mining Act of 1995, the Arroyo administration has been shamelessly dangling the right of foreign mining TNCs to fully-own the mineral resources in this country.

Absolutely disregarding the nationwide opposition of indigenous people, peasants, and even local government units, the Arroyo administration has sold off shares and equities in mining projects throughout the land. This illegitimate government, in association with the Philippine Chamber of Mines, is now priding itself for facilitating the forceful entry of mining TNCs in the communities, in spite the rampant violation of human rights and even the distortion of existing laws.

The Arroyo administration has already put four hundred eighty six thousand (486,000) hectares of our mineral lands under mineral agreement. Most of these are controlled by foreign mining TNCs and their local partners.

While aggressively seeking new mining investors, the government has remained oblivious to the issues of abandoned mines. There are 857 abandoned mines which continue to cause havoc, endangering the peoples' health and lives in the mining communities. Among these are the Hixbar Open Pit Mine (Rapu-rapu, Albay), Marcopper-Placer Dome Mine (Marinduque), Basay Copper Mine (Negros Oriental), Thanksgiving Gold Mine (Benguet), Black Mountain Copper Mine (Benguet), Boneng-Lobo Copper Mine
(Benguet), and Palawan Quick Silver Mine (Puerto Princesa City). For years, owners of these mines have run from their responsibility of remediating the impacts on the people and the environment. Worst, the Arroyo administration's solution to these problems is to offer these mines to new investors.

We warn the foreign investors and mining TNCs not to enter into any business deals with this illegitimate government. President Arroyo's claim to power is eroding by the day. Mass actions have become more frequent and bigger. Revolutionary groups, like the New People's Army vow to intensify their armed actions against the illegal government. Bickering and factionalism within the Arroyo administration and its military intensify and have become more confrontational.

With President Arroyo's ouster, your mining agreement, under this bogus administration, will not be acknowledged nor honored by the Filipino people.

Scrap Mining Act of 1995.
Junk the Mining Revitalization Program!
Oust the fake President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo!
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Reference: Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment

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