February 20, 2013
SMI’s ECC approval will ignite fiercer resistance – BAYAN
General Santos City, Philippines – In a press conference held here Wednesday morning, the regional militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Socsksargen today warned that the approval by the Aquino government of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) application for the $5.9B Tampakan Copper-Gold Mine Project will ignite tit for tat struggle and fiercer resistance from the people.
“The approval of the ECC application of the SMI- Xstrata will ignite further tit for tat struggle and fiercer resistance from the community. It also exposed the pro-capitalist and anti-people character of the Aquino government. Mr. Aquino is exceedingly ignorant with regards to current situation in the mine site” said Ryan Lariba, spokesperson of BAYAN – SOCSKSARGEN.
Bayan – Socsksargen noted that since 2011 up to the present, at least 15 from the military, police and paramilitary troops have been killed in the mine site while 6 were also killed from the side of B’laans including the massacre of Juvy Capion and her two sons.
“ECC approval is a grave injustice to the victims of massacre and other victims of Aquino government’s counter insurgency Oplan Bayanihan. Mr. Aquino approves the crucial requirement asked by the company but no decisive moves in giving justice to the massacre victims” Lariba said.
Bayan also pointed out that the ECC approval is unsurprising considering that San Miguel Corporation (SMC), a company owned mainly by Danding Cojuangco, uncle of Mr. Aquino, holds 10% share for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Mine Project.
“It is not surprising precisely because Mr Aquino is deliberately accommodating the interest of his uncle and foreign multinational firm at the expense of people’s livelihood, B’laans’ ancestral lands, human rights and environment” Lariba stressed.
Bayan-Socsksargen called on the people to defend the environment from multinational and Aquino government’s onslaught. It also urged the people to vigorously wage struggles, demonstrations, and protests in various forms to eventually overthrow the foreign mining company.
“People must strongly unite and fiercely direct their anger against Xstrata-SMI and Aquino government” Lariba concluded. ##