February 20, 2013
Reference: Cong. Neri Colmenares
The issuance of ECC to the Sagittarius Mining shows
PNoy, callous to the Mindanao People’s situation
Bayan Muna condemns the issuance of an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the Sagittarius Mining Inc. – XSTRATA as it is insensitive to the real situation in Mindanao.
“This is an utter disregard of the Aquino administration to the sentiments and welfare of the people in South Cotabato and other affected areas. The DENR denied it twice in the past due to the anti-open pit mining ordinance of South Cotabato. This latest move is a total turn around as a brazen surrender of the Aquino administration to the interest of the foreign, large-scale and destructive mining interests,” Atty. Caloy Zarate, second nominee of Bayan Muna said. “Matuwid na daan is nothing but the road to satisfy the greed for profit of this administration and its capitalist sponsors,” he continued.
Atty. Zarate, who is also a native of South Cotabato added that, “The ECC issued by the government is an insult to the letter and spirit of genuine local autonomy, an insult to the people and local officials of South Cotabato. It is also an insult to the memory of the lumads who died defending their ancestral domain.”
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, on the other hand said that the mining operation of SMI-XSTRATA is precisely the reason why indigenous communities in South Cotabato are up in arms because it is not only wreaking havoc to their ancestral domain but has also caused the death of a number of Lumads who are against mining operations. The wounding of an anti-mining activist and the death of his pregnant wife, Juvy Capion, and their sons aged 13 and 8 years old by elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army is the subject of a Congressional inquiry in General Santos City today. “The Capion massacre is only one among the many cases of killings that is being waged against the anti-mining movement in Mindanao by the protectors of SMI. For the Lumads, it is crystal clear that the government is behind these destructive mining companies such as the SMI-XSTRATA; especially now that the Palace has allowed the SMI’s operation through an ECC,” Rep. Colmenares said.###