Wednesday, March 29, 2006


By Joel G. Virador
Representative, Bayan Muna


First of all I would like to congratulate the organizers and the participants of this historic event for you have proven that Marinduqeños are united against large-scale mining and foreign plunder.

Today, the eyes of the world are watching Marinduque. They are eager to know what the Marinduqueños would do after suffering extensive loss due to the infamous Boac River disaster that took place ten years ago.

Along with this unfortunate event, the province of Marinduque is likewise marking the 30th Anniversary of the Dumping of Mine Wastes in Calancan Bay and the 13th year of the collapse of Maguila-Guila Siltation Dam in Mogpog.

These series of tragedies were known to be the country’s worst mining disaster that ever happened in Philippine history with Boac River as a sample of such. Up to this day, this river remains hosts to almost a million tons of mine wastes from processed ore, which are still leaching out acids and heavy metals. Justice remains elusive for the residents of Marinduque.

Marinduqeños, until now, live in Cavalry after Marcopper Mining Corporation, a Canadian mining firm, turned its back and played Pontius Pilate over the mine tailings that spilled into Boac River. For years, the locals of Marinduque suffered the ill consequences of irresponsible large-scale mining while the Philippine government, on the other hand, abandoned its duty by allowing the erring company to pack its bag and say goodbye to the desolated province.

This case of clear neglect and abandonment concretizes the pitfalls of Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

The Philippine Mining Law is a clear case of how this government tailor-fits its own law to serve the interests of foreign multinationals and to be consistent with GATT and the rules of World Trade Organization.

In this line, I am one with you in your pursuit to delist San Antonio Copper Project from the mining priority areas of this administration and to resist all pending mining applications in your province, as embodied in Bayan Muna resolutions 730 and especially 1139

Indeed, it is high-time for us to combine our strength and together say no to the plunder of our finite natural resources.

Once and for all, let us all reject the encroachment of big mining corporations in our lands and demand the government to repeal RA 7942 which poses grave threat to our environment and undermines our national sovereignty.

Through our collective strength, let us show the world that Philippine resources are not for sale and the lessons of Marinduque tragedy serves as our inspiration and strength to pursue this struggle.

Once again, I extend my sincere congratulations to all Marinduqueños.

Mabuhay kayo at ang bayang lumalaban sa dayuhang pandarambong! #

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