Scrapping of Mining Act of 1995 called anew on World Environment Day
4 June 2014
BACLARAN, Paranaque City—A dedicated mass for the celebration of the World Environment Day on June 5 was held at the Baclaran Church on Wednesday, the day where devotees to the Mother of Perpetual Help flock to the Church.
Indigenous peoples, Church people, and advocates attended the dedicated service, pressing for the Aquino government to repeal the Mining Act of 1995. “It is high time that the Aquino government makes good on its promise to amend the Philippine mining industry that has caused turmoil, environmental destruction, and human rights violations against the people, especially indigenous peoples,” Piya Macliing Malayao, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) spokesperson said. “To scrap the Mining Act of 1995 and to replace it by a mining law that is pro-people, pro-environment, and pro-indigenous peoples is the only way that our mining industry will contribute to the country’s development and industrialization,” Malayao added.
Philippine Task Force for Indigenous People’s Rights, Kabataan para sa Tribung Pilipino, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Redemptorist Church, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation-Redemptorist, Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae Social Ministry, Sisters of Sion, St. Scholastica’s College Outreach Center Gabriela Women’s Party representative Luz Ilagan and Rep. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna were among the attendees of the Mass and petition signing to repeal the Mining Act of 1995, started by The Scrap the Mining Act Network.
According to Malayao, the Scrap the Mining Act Network is an initiative of KAMP, responding to the effects of large-scale mining activities in ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples. “There are more than one million hectares of Philippine mineral lands that are portioned off by mining corporations for exploration and development. Roughly 60 percent of these lands encroach on ancestral lands. Mining under the Mining Act of 1995 spells dispossession, dislocation, and despair for millions of indigenous peoples in our country,” Malayao said. “The call to scrap the Mining Act of 1995 is a rallying cry for support as indigenous peoples defend their land and rights against mining plunder,” Malayao further stated.
“One of the significant steps that the Aquino government has done towards the mining industry is to enact Executive Order 79. While it Aquino packaged the Act as a ‘reform’ of the mining industry, the EO 79 has only strengthened the legality of the Mining Act of 1995 and strengthened its foundations. In fact, more mines are now in operations under his administration,” Malayao claimed.
Malayao also said that human rights violations against indigenous peoples abound especially in mining-affected communities. “Juvy Capion and her sons, who, due to the relentless fight against the mining operation of Xstrata-SMI in their ancestral lands in Tampakan, South Cotabato, were massacred mercilessly by the 26th Infantry Battalion of the AFP on October 2012. Several Lumad leaders in Mindanao who had led their people to resist mining in their ancestral lands, were also killed by State forces and mercenary groups, such as Datu Jimmy Liguyon who was killed in front of his children by members of a paramilitary group held in sway by a mining company.”
According to KAMP data, there are 118 trumped up charges and 16 extrajudicial killings related to mining done against indigenous peoples since Aquino came into power in June 2010. Malayao said that the Aquino government’s thrust to invigorate the mining industry has “spelt calamity to the environment, and indigenous people’s rights.” #
References: Piya Macliing Malayao, Spokesperson, 0917-3631576
Lea Fullon, Public Information Officer, 0998-2972500
World Environment Day 2014: Signing for mining law repeal
On the eve of World Environment Day 2014, a Eucharistic Mass officiated by Rev. Fr. Victorino Cueta, C.Ss.R at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help called on devotees to sign a petition seeking to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and end the destructive large-scale mining in the country. Congresswoman Hon. Luz Ilagan, Makabayan Bloc in the House of Representatives, led the signing together with the Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) and other anti-mining advocates.
View on www.youtube.com – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7OkVEDlOsM&feature=youtu.be
Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP)
National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in the Philippines
Room 304 NCCP Building, 876 Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines
(02)412-5340 | firstname.lastname@example.org | katutubongmamamayan.org