“Take a stand against destructive mining! Pass a new minerals management law!” candidates urged
Human rights and environment advocates visited the headquartes of Presidential and Vice Presidential tandems Mar-Leni, Grace-Chiz and BinGo to challenge them to take a stand against destructive mining and support the passage of a new minerals management bill on Thursday.
Activists wearing green first gathered at the campaign headquarters of the Liberal Party candidates and called on the candidates to reveal their positions on the industry despite their links to mining investments and the support they receive from players in the industry.
“Almost all of the candidates have support from people who have stakes in the industry, the question is, if in case they get elected: What will they do to address the problems with the mining industry and the outdated and flawed policies that allow it? Our demand is for these candidates to genuinely work for the people’s good and not the corporate agenda or the agenda of the elite and powerful,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.
Mining is inarguably one of the most destructive industries and one that is opposed by many communities and their support groups—environmental and human rights organizations—because of argued negative impacts that outweigh supposed benefits from it. ATM assert that mining will only truly benefit the Philippine economy and communities if we repeal the current Mining Law (RA 7942) and enact the Alternative Minerals Management.
Max de Mesa, Chairperson of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates said: “The next leaders, who are duty-bearers of human rights, are obligated to give justice for all the victims of mining-related killings and human rights violations. The Aquino administration has acquiesced to impunity against economic,social and cultural rights of people in the areas of mining. The people must vote for those who would determinedly uphold the dignity of every person and guarantee full respect for human rights as embodied in our Constitution.”
On Monday, the ATM and its partners called on the public to vote for pro-environment, pro-people, anti-mining candidates. Independent Senatorial Candidate Walden Bello said in a statement: “I join Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) in calling for transparency in these coming elections and for the candidates to come out with their positions on mining and environment, and their links to mining interests, if any. I echo ATM’s challenge for the candidates to articulate their position on human rights, and environment in their agenda. In May, let us vote for the environment, for our natural resources, for the peoples of tomorrow.”
The group is calling on the next Administration to have the environment and human rights in their agenda and to resolve, among others, the issues with the Philippine mining policy.
Local actions with the same call were also led by Ang Aroroy ay Alagan (4As) in Masbate, Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns in Marinduque and Sibuyan Against Mining (SAM) in Romblon.
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0917) 549.82.18 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Farah Sevilla ATM Policy Research and Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 <email@example.com>
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