Tag Archives: Alyansa Tigil Mina

[From the web] Envi group condemns South Cotabato midnight mining deal -ATM

Alyans Tigil Mina (ATM) condemns the recently uncovered DENR order extending the contract of an open-pit mining in South Cotabato, signed by former Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Leo Jasareno in 2016.

On June 8, 2016, the MGB through former Director Jasareno, signed a 12-year extension of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of Sagittarius Mines, Incorporated (SMI) covering the Tampakan Gold Copper Project.

ATM said the illegal FTAA extension circumvented the autonomy of the local government of South Cotabato. The provincial government of South Cotabato previously passed a local ordinance banning open-pit mining on June 29, 2010, preventing the massive 23,571 hectares Tampakan copper-gold mining project from causing irreparable damage in the province.

SMI, together with the Tampakan Mining Group, is the project holder for the Tampakan copper-gold mining project. It is the largest open-pit gold project in Asia. Its operation will displace an estimated 4,000 the indigenous tribes of B’laans and about 10,000 lowland farmers from neighboring communities that rely on the nearby watershed for agricultural use.

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[Statement] Communities are not Targets: Defend the People -ATM

QUEZON CITY – Alyansa Tigil Mina joins various human rights and advocacy groups in marching to celebrate the International Human Rights Day. They are voicing out their concern on the alarming threats against human rights defenders, caused by the politics of fear perpetuated by the current administration.

Global Witness, an international human rights NGO, identified the Philippines as the most dangerous country for environmental and human rights defenders. Human rights defenders have been attacked and in some cases, killed by unknown men allegedly part of illegal logging, destructive mining, and corrupt agribusiness operations.

“Mga biktima kami ng mapanirang pagmimina. Kami ay nag hahangad lang ng magandang kinabukasan para sa aming pamilya tapos gagawin pa kaming target. Ginagawa lang nilang mas mapanganib ang buhay namin,” argued Malou Verano, Council of Leader, Alyansa Tigil Mina

We are the victims of destructive mining practices. We only aspire for a better future for our family, but we have become targets. They have endangered our lives.

The institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach through Executive Order No. 70, s. 2018 has only increased the risk amongst anyone who would oppose the continued aggressive development practices. This policy enables individuals and groups from destructive mining operations to act violently against those who would oppose these harmful practices.

“Instead of targetting communities that have already been victimized, we call on the government to stop endangering environmental defenders and start holding these companies accountable for the destruction they have caused our environment,” stated Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator, Alyansa Tigil Mina.

Alyansa Tigil Mina continues to uphold and defend the rights of environmentalists and activists that continue to protect the environment.

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[Statement] Duterte asked to stop Tampakan mining in Mindanao -ATM

Green group cites quakes and ASEAN statement to protect the environment

Quezon City – Green group Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) asked Pres. Duterte to stop the Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Project in Mindanao, citing the recent quakes caused by the Cotabato Fault System.

In a letter received by the Office of the President last Nov. 4, 2019, ATM sought clarification from the Office of the President about the reported reinstatement of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of the Tampakan mining project. The group demanded that a copy of such a reinstatement order should be disclosed to the public.

The alliance reminded Pres. Duterte that Tampakan’s ECC was canceled by former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez in 2017, because of the company’s failure to comply with conditions and permitting requirements set by the ECC. ATM claimed that this compliance has not been met by the proponent.

The Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Project is owned by Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) and the Tampakan Mining Group (TMG).

ATM lauded the President’s key message in the ASEAN summit when he was quoted in news articles that “ASEAN should not sacrifice the environment and the region’s rich biodiversity, particularly in the maritime domain, in its quest for progress”.

“President Duterte should implement his campaign promise that he will ban open-pit mining, and he can start by implementing this in Tampakan, and the rest of Mindanao”, the group said. They also added that Pres. Duterte should issue an Executive Order that puts this promise as formal policy. #

For more details:
Jaybeee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – (+63917) 5498218 / nc@alyansatigilmina.net

Additional Notes: Copies of letters (stamped received ) to Office of the President and DENR-MGB can be downloaded here – https://www.facebook.com/141872819244724/posts/2560975490667766?d=n&sfns=mo

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[Statement] MGB must suspend all mining operations in Mindanao -ATM

Assessment of stability of mine facilities demanded

Quezon City – Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is calling on the MGB to suspend all mining operations in Mindanao and immediately conduct assessments to determine the stability of mine areas, given the recent series of earthquakes that hit Mindanao region in the past weeks.

With the recent Magnitude 6.6 quake in Cotabato affecting areas as far as Davao City and Iligan City, the structural and geological stability of mine areas and mine facilities must be clearly established by the MGB, so that the safety of communities around the mine sites are ensured.

ATM is particularly concerned with the area surrounding South Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Sultan Kudarat which has received the serious damage from the earthquakes that hit on Oct. 16 and Oct. 29 2019.

This is the same area covered by the Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Project, owned by Sagittarius Mines, Inc. and the Tampakan Mining Group.

In a case review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Tampakan Mining Project, environmental and mining experts have previously raised issues about the fault lines that will allegedly impact some of the mine facilities inside the mine area.

ATM believes that the MGB should prioritize first a geologic assessment review, before promoting additional mining projects in the region. Without this geologic assessment, the Tampakan mining project must continue to be shelved.

MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano was quoted in media reports last Oct. 25, 2019, that the Tampakan Mining Project is expected to operate in the near future, as Malacanang has ordered the reinstatement of its Environmental Compliance Certificate or ECC.

Former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez cancelled the ECC of the Tampakan Mining Project last 2017, after failing to secure permitting requirements from local government and indigenous peoples.

It is also in the interest of the mining companies and their operators that the safety and welfare of both their employees and communities around their mines are assured. #

For more details:
Jaybeee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – (+63917) 5498218 / nc@alyansatigilmina.net

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[Statement] DENR-MGB is lawyering for the mining industry and creating confusion -ATM

Quezon City – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is dispensing fake news.

Our alliance denounces in the strongest possible terms the attempt of the MGB, particularly its Regional Director for Region 12, EngineerFelizardo Gacad Jr to promote destructive mining in South Cotabato.

In an article at Manila Standard, Dir. Gacad was quoted as stating that the Tampakan project is “expected to go in full swing in the coming months, with the fresh endorsement from the national government reportedly coming out soon.” Gacad allegedly claims as well that “a timeline has been released for the reactivation of SMI’s Environmental Compliance Certificate.”

These are big words and in reference to a major and controversial mining project such as Tampakan, will have serious repercussions.

But the statements are incredulous and absurd. Coming from a Regional office of the MGB that has consistently refused to listen to local resistance against the Tampakan mining project, we are unconvinced but not surprised.

We dare Dir. Gacad to present any order or memo from the Office of the President that such instructions were actually transmitted. Even if such a far-fetched directive was issued, we remind Dir. Gacad of the following important and substantial issues:

1. DENR Administrative Order 2017-10 (Ban on Open-pit Mining) is still in effect, and President Duterte has publicly declared that he supports and will continue to implement this policy. As recent as Sept. 30, 2019, Sec. Panelo reiterated this clear stand of Pres. Duterte on the ban on open-pit mining.

2. Executive Order 79 (EO 79) or “Institutionalizing and implementing reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector, providing policies and guidelines to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining in the utilization of mineral resources” is still in effect. Section 1 of EO 79 stipulates the “areas closed to mining applications”. The Tampakan Mining Project even violates DENR regulations when more than 3,000 hectares of the proposed mine are 1,000 meters above sea-level.

3. South Cotabato has a Provincial Environment Code passed in 2010 that prohibits open-pit mining. This provincial ordinance is still in effect. Newly-elected Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. has said that any request to review or amend this local ordinance will not be coming from him.

4. The Tampakan mining project has failed to secure the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of more than 1,000 indigenous peoples from the B’laan tribe that will be impacted by the mining project.

5. The land-use conflict between indigenous peoples (ancestral domains), agrarian reform beneficiaries (CARP areas), protected areas and the mining tenements has not been settled.

6. At least three watershed covering four provinces with over 270,000 hectares will be directly impacted by the mining project. The Hydrology Impact Study for this project has not been disclosed and meaningfully discussed with stakeholders.

We do not know from what planet Engr. Gacad is getting his information giving him misplaced optimism about the re-activation of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the Tampakan Mining Project. Clearly, there are numerous and considerable issues that need to be addressed, even before the national government can consider re-activating this mining project.

Dir. Gacad must also realize that there is no conflict between a national law and the local ordinance against mining. Clearly, there is a conflict between two national laws – the Philippine Mining Act and the Local Government Code.

If Dir. Gacad insists on his flawed interpretation that national laws should prevail over local ordinances, we suggest that he take his case to court. That will be the only consistent behavior of the DENR-MGB, since they have always lawyered for the mining industry, and taken the side of mining companies, against the will of the people.

This latest attempt of DENR and MGB Region 12 to sow confusion is a clear example of why “responsible mining” does not exist in the Philippines.

Rene Pamplona, Advocacy Officer of Convergence for Integrity and Environmental Justice (CIEJ), based in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, added that “We believe that the FPIC underwent questionable processes, and that negotiations for the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) were done in bad faith. So essentially, the FPIC is not valid, and the Tampakan project does not enjoy acceptability from the Blaans, and we are afraid that conflicts will escalate, if the mine is allowed to push through.”

Finally, we demand the following:

1. DENR and the MGB must immediately disclose to the affected communities and the LGUs the alleged directive or instruction from Office of the President or from Malacanang for the re-activation of the ECC for the Tampakan Mining Project

2. MGB Directo Wilfredo Moncano must explain what parameters they are using in making such outlandish and absurd policy pronouncements recently abut mining. These include the alleged “interim renewal” of FTAA # 1 in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya and this unbelievable claim of the re-activation of FTAA # 2 of the Tampakan Mining Project. Clearly, MGB is disobeying the policy directions of Pres. Duterte on the ban on open-pit mining.

3. DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu must order right away a review process of all these questionable pronouncements by MGB. Obviously, the MGB and DENR are promoting the mining industry by disregarding the still existent rules and regulations within DENR itself. Sec. Cimatu must also ensure that MGB (and other bureaus within DENR) is complying with all environmental laws and all other national laws that are related to local environmental governance.

4. NCIP must immediately review all the documents and reports submitted to their office, including the documented cases of human rights violations related to the Tampakan mining project.

For more details:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – (+63917) 549-82-18 / nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Rene Pamplona, CIEJ — (+63965) 288-42-66 / blackthorns1725@gmail.com

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[Statement] on OGPI FTAA renewal -ATM

We are greatly disappointed with this development. ATM believes that OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) had failed to substantially comply with the requirements of a renewal for FTAA.

It did not inform the local governments about its application and has not secured the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of the affected indigenous peoples.

This interim renewal smells tragically as an attempt of DENR to circumvent the already vague and anti-poor Mining Act of 1995.

The DENR has made a mistake in implementing the minimum technical requirements for an FTAA renewal. The requirements for FTAA renewal should have included a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) and comprehensive proof that it has complied with the findings and recommendations of the Mine Audit in 2016 ordered by former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez. A new hydrology impact study should have also been submitted by OGPI to dispel the claims of the LGU that te water supply has been severely reduced due to mining operations in the area.

OGPI has also failed to address the unresolved human rights issues in its operations, with conclusive findings by the CHR presented in its resolution in 2011. The CHR has recommended then the revocation of the FTAA # 1 of the Didipio mines.

As we are deeply frustrated by this development, we are convinced that the current Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942) is flawed. With the unresolved issues of Didipio mines and the continuing violations of OGPI, these are proof that “responsible mining” doesn’t exist in the Philippines and the DENR has failed to protect and conserve the environment.

This development even becomes more ironic as the government decided to renew this mining contract during the UN General Assembly which had tackled climate change as its main theme.

ATM will continue to support the the resistance of local communities in Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. We will support the barricades there, and all the initiatives of the local governments, particularly the Provincial Government led by Gov. Carlos Padilla.

We will not allow OGPI to continue wrecking havoc on our environment and disregarding our environmental laws.

For more details, please contact:
Jaybee Garganera
ATM National Coordinator
+639175498218
nc@alyansatigilmina.net

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[Statement] On the arrest of environmental women activists in Manila -ATM

Photo by ATM

ATM Statement on the arrest of environmental women activists in Manila
Sept. 10, 2019

ATM strongly condemns the arrest and detention of women activists who staged a non-violent protest action inside Sofitel Hotel in Manila, earlier today.

The six women conducted a “mannequin challenge” inside the lobby of Sofitel Hotel to protest against destructive mining operations in the Philippines. An international mining conference was holding its opening program when the protest was launched by environmental groups led by LILAK, Oriang, and PKKK.

The arrest and detention of the activists was unnecessary as the action was exactly done in a silent and non-disruptive manner, with the women posing as “mannequins” to depict the lack of voice and power of women affected by destructive mining projects.

ATM condemns the police for the unnecessary arrest. This is an over-reaction by the police, the hotel security and he organizers of the mining conference, and only shows that the mining industry and the police have limited understanding of freedom of expression.

ATM, especially its Women and Mining Working Group, will intensify its resistance and cry out with a louder voice to protect our environment and the future generations against destructive mining.

Paul John Nieves Delin
Media and Communications Officer
Alyansa Tigil Mina

Contact us:
Globe: (+63) 906-0419-2895 or (63+)956-703-9741
Telephone Number:(02) 917-3794
Facebook: AlyansaTIgilMina
Twitter: atm_philippines
Instagram: atm_philippines
Website: https://www.alyansatigilmina.net

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[Statement] There is no future in mining -ATM

ATM Statement on the Opening of Mining Philippines 2019
September 10, 2019

Quezon City –“Responsible mining” is a myth, and even the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) has stopped pretending it exists. The concept didn’t find any space in the theme nor in the program for the annual international mining confab that opens today at the Sofitel Hotel Manila.

What is real and factual are the destruction brought by large-scale mining. Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is demanding the immediate closure and suspension of 26 mining operations in the Philippines, covered by administrative orders issued by former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez last February 2017. These mining projects have been found to violate our environmental laws including provisions of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942) and non-compliance with their contractual obligations.

These mining projects are living examples of irresponsible mining in the Philippines.

Our alliance calls on President Rodrigo Duterte to decisively act on these closure and suspension orders, particularly the non-renewal of Financial Technical Assistance Agreement No. 1 (FTAA #1) covering Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu in the province of Nueva Vizcaya.

Pres. Duterte must also immediately issue an Executive Order to ban open-pit mining in the Philippines, if the country wants to preserve its water, food and biodiversity. This action becomes more imperative in the context of climate change. This has been a campaign promise and stated in his previous SONAs.

We demand that the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) practice more transparency in their processing and approval process of mining permits and contracts. The DENR has endorsed favorably the renewal for another 25 years of FTAA # 1 to the Office of the President, without informing the local governments and affected communities of this action. And numerous other mining permits have been extended, renewed and approved under the same clandestine manner.

We appeal to both the House of Representatives and the Senate to meticulously review the proposed DENR 2020 budget and ensure that the agency is realistically performing its task of preserving our environment and regulating effectively the mining industry. We must end the attitude of a DENR that is pro-mining but blind-and-deaf to the suffering of mining-affected communities.

As the Philippine Catholic Church celebrates the Season of Creation and as we prepare for the Global Climate Strike to address the climate emergency, ATM will remain strong in resisting destructive large-scale mining.

There is no future in mining! #

For more details:

Please contact Caryl Pillora, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer: policyreseachadvocacy@alyansatigilmina.net / (+63945) 246-7271

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[From the web] Stop Oceanagold’s illegal mining operations -ATM

Photo by ATM

BAYOMBONG, NUEVA VIZCAYA – Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) together with its local partners, the Nueva Vizcaya Quirino Waterwatch, Alyansa ng Magsasaka para sa Kalikasan ng Kasibu, and Didipio Earth Savers Movement (DESAMA) declare their rejection of the continued illegal and destructive operations of OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI).

One hundred local farmers and indigenous peoples from the village of Didipio gathered in front of the OGPI satellite office to dramatize their demand for the immediate closure of the mines; to highlight the expired Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of OGPI with the Philippine Government.

“Mula pa sa simula ayaw na namin ng mina. Sapat na ang 25 taon ng kanilang pagpapayaman sa pagsira ng kabundukan,” said Rolando Pulido, Chairman, DESAMA.

(“From the very beginning we did not want mining. 25 years of profiteering from the destruction of the mountains is enough.”)

OGPI has been operating destructively for over 25 years. Their operations have led to the displacement of the local indigenous communities and the detriment of the forests and rivers surrounding Nueva Vizcaya, including the reduced water supply for domestic use of families around the mine.

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[Statement] She is now flying free and remains to be an inspiration, Green groups will miss her, but the legacy of Gina Lopez will shine on -ATM

Photo credits: ABS-CBN news

ATM Statement
Aug. 19, 2019

Quezon City – Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is deeply saddened with the demise of Ms. Gina Lopez. She was a bastion of environmental activism, and a source of hope and inspiration for many communities and organizations that had the opportunity to work and be served by her. She will be sorely missed.

ATM knows very well the passion and dedication mam Gina brought with her in fighting for the rights of mining-affected communities, and for challenging the powerful mining industry because of the latter’s environmental destruction and non-compliance with our environmental laws. For ten months as DENR Secretary, mam Gina did the unthinkable – ordering the conduct of a mine audit, cancelling the mining contracts or suspending the operations of 26 mining projects and issuing new policies that ensure the mining industry is up to international standards on transparency and disclosures.

That she was rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments does not mean she is not fit to be DENR Secretary. It only shows that the tentacles of corporate interests and corrupt agenda of politicians still how a commanding sway in our government.

A labor leader reminded us today that “it is rare to have an oligarch wage a battle against her own class”. This reflects how clear the mission was to her.

For many of us, this was how she wanted to be remembered: strong but sensitive, with a smile. Her values were unwavering. It was always personal for her, because the advocacies for her were all about people’s lives. How can it not be personal, when you know that this destruction will impact other people and especially the next generation?

Many of the young people in the anti-mining campaign were touched by mam Gina, and we are sure that they wanted to tell her many things – that they started to find their place in serving the country through the eyes and experiences of a Gina Lopez.

She kept on reminding many of us that “courage and compassion amidst adversity is the best kind of love”. And that love is enough to take things on.

It started out as a sad day for many of us in the environmental movement. We are sure many tears will be shed. But we are inspired with the last text message mam Gina sent to the Green Thumb Coalition a few days back – “I could feel your hearts and immediately got teary-eyed. Love you all deeply…thanks so much for keeping the light shining. There really is a power to love, and this love in your hearts will carry this country forward”.

The least we could do, is to keep the love and light shining.

Rest well mam Gina, spread your wings and fly happily.

From your family at Alyansa Tigil Mina

Jaybee Garganera
ATM National Coordinator
nc@alyansatigilmina.net
(+63917) 549.82.18

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[Statement] On World Indigenous People’s Day Defend the indigenous peoples against destructive mining and large dams -ATM

Quezon City – Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) supports the struggles of indigenous peoples all over the world. In their continuing journey to assert their right to self-determination and to defend their land, lives and culture, they have stood in front of destructive development projects and protect the forests, water and natural resources for everyone’s benefit.

Our alliance stands with the Ifugaos in Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, who are demanding the immediate cancellation of the mining contract of OceanGold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI). We echo their call that President Duterte must immediately order the closure of this open-pit mine and to direct the NCIP to consult the local indigenous communities and the local governments in the area. OGPI operations have abused the human rights of local communities, violated our environmental laws and failed to comply with its own contractual obligations under its expired mining contract.

ATM also supports the call of the Agta-Dumagat-Remontado tribes in Quezon and Rizal who are opposing the Kaliwa Dam project. This project will displace the indigenous communities, threaten the already endangered flaura and fauna in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, and compromise the farms and food sources of thousands of families in the areas. We stand in solidarity with the demands of the Stop Kaliwa Dam coalition to the DENR to withhold the issuance of the ECC for the Kaliwa Dam. The NCIP must likewise ensure that meaningful and genuine processes of securing the free, prior and informed consent of the affected indigenous communities are implemented.

For more details, please contact:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – (+63917) 549.82.18 / nc@alyansatigilmina.net

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[Statement] DENR is working against communities and the environment -ATM

Agency hides decision to allow mining in Nueva Vizcaya, despite expired mining contract

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is deeply concerned and horrified by the lack of transparency and callousness of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in allowing continued mining operations in Nueva Vizcaya despite the expiration of a mining contract there.

Last June 20, 2019, the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) to mine expired. To the knowledge of local governments and mining-affected communities in Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, the mining company does not even have an application for a renewal of its mining contract.

The resistance against the renewal of the said mining contract is led by Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Governor Carlos Padilla, who shared with ATM copies of his position paper dated February 2016 and a Sanggunian Panlalawigan (provincial legislative council) resolution issued June 17, 2019, strongly opposing the renewal of the mining contract of OGPI.

It was only last June 18, 2019, in a dialogue at the DENR Central Office, that MGB officials admitted to Gov. Padilla and barangay officials that MGB had favorably endorsed the application for renewal of OGPI and that this endorsement was submitted to the DENR Secretary last April 2019.

The next day, June 19, 2019, in a dialogue between Gov. Padilla and DENR Sec. Cimatu also at the DENR Central Office, Cimatu allegedly assured the provincial chief that DENR has not yet transmitted to the Office of the President any endorsement for the mining contract to be renewed.

However, local officials and community organizations in Nueva Vizcaya expressed disgust when OGPI recently showed them an official letter by the Mines of Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR, dated June 20, 2019. The letter was addressed to OGPI President Jose Leviste, Jr., assuring the mining company that they will be “permitted to continue their mining operations beyond June 20, 2019, pending the confirmation of the renewal”.

The series of events reveals the callousness of DENR as they have ignored the official opposition of local governments and numerous petitions of local organizations against the renewal of the mining contract.

Last October 2, 2018, in a dialogue between environmental groups and the DENR, MGB officials stated in front of DENR Sec. Cimatu that there is no application for renewal by OGPI. However, a letter dated June 21, 2019, by OGPI General Manager Mr. David Way, to Barangay Chairperson Ireneo Bobola of Brgy. Didipio stated that OGPI’s Notice of Renewal has been filed with DENR Region 2 office way back in March 2018 and that it has been processed to the DENR Central Office and transmitted to the Office of the President.

ATM finds it highly irregular that DENR failed to inform local government officials and affected communities about the application for renewal of the mining company. Despite the numerous public positions of the local government against the mining operations, MGB and the DENR still found it justifiable to favorably endorse the application. Keeping the application and endorsement procedures a secret leads to many questions that need to be answered by DENR officials.

Clearly, OGPI and the DENR failed to live up to the high standards of transparency and accountability in the extractives sector as espoused by Philippine Extractive Industries Initiative or PH-EITI. This comes at the heel of the refusal of DENR to publicly disclose the Mine Audit Results conducted in 2016 led by former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez. DENR has likewise refused to release the results of its internal technical review of the Mine Audit. In both instances, mining operations across the country were recommended for either closure or suspension.

Our alliance rejects the explanation of MGB officials that their hands are tied when they endorsed the application since it complied with all the technical requirements. Given the numerous violations of environmental laws and non-compliance of the mining operations, the MGB and DENR have failed to uphold precautionary principles as forwarded by Agenda 21 and the UN Convention on Sustainable Development (UNCSD).

As the Philippines is facing the challenges of climate change, extreme weather events and water scarcity, the real needs of farmers and local communities in Barangay Didipio and the whole town of Kasibu must be prioritized, and not the destructive operations of an irresponsible mining company. The DENR must have forgotten that Nueva Vizcaya is a watershed for the whole region of Cagayan Valley and is part of the Sierra Madre range.

We call on DENR Sec. Cimatu to revoke any favorable endorsement issued by DENR for the renewal of FTAA # 001 and the immediate revocation of mining permits and licenses of OGPI.

We demand that the MGB immediately conduct a review of the application process and documentation requirements of OGPI, and to include the aspect of social acceptability, as primary criteria for endorsing the renewal of FTAA # 001.

We remind President Duterte that he has made a promise to stop destructive and irresponsible mining and to ban open-pit mining in the country. His resolve will now be tested with the application for renewal of OGPI in Nueva Vizcaya.

Our alliance expects him to deliver on his promise.

For more details: Jaybee Garganera – ATM National Coordinator (+63917) 549.82.18 / nc@alyansatigilmina.net

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[Statement] Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is dismayed with the results of this elections

We respect the electoral exercise and the will of the people. But we see the dominance of traditional politicians (trapos), convicted plunderers and political lackeys of the Duterte administration in the winning list of new senators. This does not bode well for transformative social change.

We see new senators who are compromised by big corporate interests because either they were financially supported by business enterprises, particularly mining and extractive interests l, or they are actually beneficial owners of these corporations.

We are deeply troubled by the erratic performance of COMELEC as it failed to ensure the transparency and integrity of the electoral results, when it’s Transparency Server went down for several hours last night.

We expect this new Congress to sideline again the Green Bills – the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), the National Land Use Act (NLUA) and the Forestry Management Bill (FMB). These bills will never be passed with the newly-elected Senators who will stop the passage of these bills that will protect our natural resources and ensure that we are able to respond appropriately with the realities of climate change.

Our alliance is afraid that ChaCha will be fast-tracked and that foreign-ownership of mining companies and mining operations will be allowed. This will result to more displacement of rural poor communities and additional deforestations, as more areas will be opened up for more the extractive industries.

We anticipate the the federalism project will be fast-tracked as well, and we will be vigilant in working with affected communities and other environmental groups to protect our patrimony and natural resources from misplaced economic and industrial projects that threaten our environment.

We will re-group and assess the new political landscape that we are operating. We shall consolidate our members and work with local governments to resist the entry or expansion of more destructive mining operations.

We remain open to work with national government agencies and officials to pursue sustainable development, but we will continue to protect the rights of communities and individuals to a safe and sound environment, as enshrined in our 1987 Constitution.

We will resist traditional politicians, misogyny, authoritarianism, fascism and the rape of our environment.

We will continue to be vigilant as activists, feminists and environmentalists as we uphold all human rights for all.

Jaybee Garganera
ATM National Coordinator
nc@alyansatigilmina.net

ATM statement
May 14, 2019
Quezon City

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[Press Release] Stop mining, communities urge Duterte admin – ATM

Stop mining, communities urge Duterte admin
Groups hold anti-mining actions nationwide

Photo by ATM

Photo by ATM

MANILA, 30 June 2016 – Mining-affected communities across the Philippines held protests and other actions to pursue reforms in mining ahead of the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte and the swearing-in of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez.

Members and partners of the national coalition Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), conducted nationally-coordinated actions from June 27 to 29, 2016, under a single call: “Pagbabago ngayon na! Itigil ang pagmimina!” (Real change now! Stop mining!)

“We welcome the change promised by President Duterte and will be vigilant throughout his tenure. We will engage his administration in following through on his pronouncements, including the urgent review of mining contracts, the cancellation of illegal and destructive mining projects, and the push for a new mining law,” said ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera.

“Mining-affected communities also have high hopes on the appointment of DENR secretary Gina Lopez. Most of the townsfolk have worked with her in their struggles to resist the entry or expansion of mining projects in their area. They believe that as the incoming DENR secretary, she will listen and act on the many complaints and petitions against destructive mining in their areas,” he added.

The groups are pushing for the new administration, in particular, to declare a moratorium on all mining operations while the mining reform which President Duterte also called for is underway. They also called for the cancellation of the Mining Act of 1995, the passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), and the implementation of Executive Order 79 in pursuit of mining reforms.

Northern Luzon: Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Zambales

In Cagayan, a mass in St. Anne Parish, Buguey was dedicated to anti-mining advocates and DENR Sec. Lopez.

In Nueva Vizcaya, officers of the Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association (DESAMA) displayed their request for immediate change and to stop mining in their province. On June 18, Gov. Padilla stated that his administration would continue to fight OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) and expose the corrupt officials in local governments, the Department and Environment and Natural Resources, and Mines and Geosciences Bureau, for allowing them despite many concerns with the mining operations.

Rufino Licyayo, chairperson of DESAMA added, “We will not allow OGPI to get away with destroying our lands for their own benefit. Miners and state benefits from mining is incomparable even because while the government contract only requires then to pay a mere 2% excise tax, OGPI was given six years tax holidays, with two years possible extension. We are literally giving away our minerals! We cannot allow this to continue. We demand an end to this!”

Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz, Zambales (CCOS) held a picket in their town hall and called on Lopez to put a stop to the five mining companies operating in their areas and demand them to compensate all the affected citizens. They also called for a rehabilitation of their environment, as ordered by the Supreme Court through the Writ of Kalikasan it issued last June 21.

“We are calling on to you, Secretary Gina Lopez, to protect the country’s endangered natural resources, especially from destructive mining operations,” said Benito Molino, CCOS chairperson.

Southern Luzon: Romblon, Marinduque, Masbate, Palawan

Romblon Governor Eduardo Firmalo filed a letter of complaint against the application for exploration permit off the coast of Tablas Island last Monday (June 27).  The complaint of more than 81,000 citizens strongly opposed the intentions of the Asian Palladium Mineral Resources, Inc., (APMRI) to extract palladium and other minerals offshore in seven municipalities in the province.

“The Province of Romblon, as a whole, would like to inform your good office that we strongly object to the application of Asian Palladium Mineral Resources, Inc., to conduct any mining activity in the water areas of the island. No to metallic mining both on land and under the water has long been the united stand of the people of Romblon,” Gov. Firmalo told Sec. Lopez in a letter.

The Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns held a forum in the municipality of Sta. Cruz to tackle their on-going cases against Marcopper Mining Corporation and affirm their support for Sec. Lopez.

The Masbate-based group Ang Aroroy Ay Alagaan (AAAI) held a prayer and candlelight vigil in the municipalities of Aroroy and Port Barrera. According to the group, they chose the place because both are heavily affected by large-scale mining caused by Filminera Resources.

The candles lit in the vigil were produced by the Marian Women Producers Cooperative in Barangay Lanang, Aroroy, a coop that was established with the support of Lopez—whose workers are victims of land grabbing by Filminera. Also in Masbate, teachers and students from Nursery Elementary School expressed their desire to protect and preserve their environment for their future generation.

In Palawan, Ancestral Land/Domain Watch (ALDAW), a local network supporting indigenous people in the province, held a picket and released a statement of support for Sec. Lopez.

“Sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni Kalihim Lopez, kami ay naniniwala na makakamtan ng bayan ng Brooke’s Point ang pagiging isang ecological capital ng Southern Palawan at ganap nang maipapatupad ang moratorium ng pagmimina sa Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (We believe that Brooke’s Point will be an ecological capital of southern Palawan once DENR Sec. Gina Lopez would be in office.  Because we think that she would support the moratorium on mining in Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape),” Victoriano Colili, chairperson of ALDAW, stated.

Eastern Visayas: Tacloban, Guiuan, MacArthur

ATM along with Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Sanlakas, Freedom from Debt Coalition, and other local organizations, in a press conference in Tacloban City last June 27 demanded the new President to be true to his words that “change is coming.” To mining-affected communities it means that the government should revoke all mining permits in Manicani and Homonhon Islands, and in MacArthur, Leyte.

Besides expressing their support for the new DENR secretary, they asked Lopez to issue a department order to stop the mining in the small islands and implement the 2002 Suspension Order against the operations of Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) in Manicani. The group also reiterated their call for a People’s Alternative Rehabilitation Platform to be implemented in Yolanda-affected areas.

Follow-up actions were led in Manicani and Guian yesterday (June 29). Anti-mining community members joined a peaceful rally and fluvial parade from the HMC docking area in Manicani to the mainland and marched to Guiuan Plaza.

Mindanao

“The Social Action Ministry-Diocese of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay is all out in its support for Sec. Gina Lopez after helping the farmers and indigenous people in the Zamboanga Peninsula become more resilient to climate change. More power,” stated the ministry. Along with the common call to start the change and to stop mining, they also requested to prioritize people’s welfare and the sustainability of food in their province.

A silent action in Awang, Cotabato City was led by the group Kilusang Maralita sa Kanayunan (Kilos Ka) to show their support to President Duterte and Sec. Lopez and appeal to them to stop and investigate the mining operations in Maguindanao province.

Concerned Carcanmadcarlan Environmental Advocates (CECA), a local ATM partner in Surigao del Sur, also appealed for the new administration to promote sustainable agriculture, pass the AMMB and terminate the operations of large-scale mining, particularly the Marcventure Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC), in their province.

“Marcventure contaminated the free-flowing water which is critical for agriculture. It has also violated the Environmental Protection Order issued in the province,” said Imelda Luza, ATM’s support staff in CARAGA region.

NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

Photos of the various actions can be accessed at [https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-SCEYNN-_aeV1liSGFOTE9rRVk&usp=sharing]. Please credit all photos to Alyansa Tigil Mina.

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 09175498218 – nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Karl Santos, ATM Media and Communications Officer 09173011934 – media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net

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[Statement] Alyansa Tigil Mina challenges Duterte Admin to address mining, environmental issues

Alyansa Tigil Mina challenges Duterte Admin to address mining, environmental issues

atm-logoAlyansa Tigil Mina, a national coalition of more than 130 members and 21 local multi-sectoral alliances in the provincial Sites of Struggles collectively confronting the promotion of destructive large-scale mining in the Philippines, challenges incoming President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to stand by his promise to address mining and environmental issues.

Regarded as a change-maker and unyielding leader, Duterte has initially said that he will only allow mining if environmental laws are strictly complied with. He believes that the State is not getting a fair share from mining revenues where we get so little while there are social costs to communities and risks to the environment. He also said: mining is a privilege, not a right.

We expect President Duterte to stay true to his promise that he will not prioritize mining under his industrialization and economic policies, and that he will immediately call for a review and evaluation of all mining projects and that erring firms will be sanctioned. We expect him to suspend operations and/or revoke permits and agreements of destructive and irresponsible mining projects and those companies in utter disregard of the conditions of their contracts.

ATM is also hopeful that the Duterte administration will support policy reforms on mining, including the passage of a new mining law, increasing the taxes on mining and resolving land-conflicts brought by extractive industries. We also believe that he will support the no-go zones policy and defend the rights of local governments and communities to say no to mining as demonstrated in his support for the Davao No-Go-Zone Bill and the presence of the city’s ordinance against mining.

However, ATM notes Duterte’s pronouncements in adopting the Aquino administration’s economic policies and ensuring the attactiveness of the Philippines to foreign direct investments by changing economic provisions in the Constitution. We are wary that these pronouncements will negatively affect the communities and environment that we help to defend. We believe that Duterte will continue to stand with the communities who have struggled to defend their lands and be stewards of creation and biodiversity.

We assert that the new administration should reconsider its economic agenda and to move away from extractives and destructive industries. If Duterte is the change-maker projected in his previous months of campaiging, we look forward to a change in the government agenda that will result to improved lives of Filipino communities. But we also look with deep concern in his moves to appoint people in his cabinet, particularly those identified with the elite such as the Alcantaras and the Dominguezes who have connections with large-scale mining projects. For genuine change to happen, Duterte must base his selection process of his cabinet with competency, proven track-record and reflective of his bias for the small, marginalized and the “inaapi” (oppressed).

ATM, together with Green Thumb Coalition and human rights groups, remain vigilant in monitoring the prounouncements and actions of incoming leaders that will affect our environment and human rights. We will contribute to the genuine efforts of the Duterte administration by reporting the violations and illegal activities of destructive large-scale mining operations. We will intensify our efforts to hold irresponsible mining corporations accountable for their environmental crimes. We will continue to monitor and document human rights violations in mining affected communities and closely work with the Commission on Human Rights to ensure that extra-judicial killings are eradicated and that human rights are promoted, protected and fulfilled. Should the Duterte Administration fail to uphold human rights, social justice and the rule of law, ATM will not hesitate to raise these issues and hold the new administration accountable.


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 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 <policy@alyansatigilmina.net>

 

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[Statement] ATM on Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Sii” (“Praise Be To You”)

ATM Statement on Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Sii” (“Praise Be To You”)
18 June 2015

As his holiness Pope Francis said in his homily on February 9, 2015 in Vatican, “A Christian who does not protect creation, who does not let it grow, is a Christian who does not care about the work of God … And this is the first response to the first creation: protect creation, make it grow.”

(Source: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/02/09/pope_mass_protecting_creation_a_christian_responsibility/1122292)

atm-logoIt is with this that Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), an alliance of environmental and human rights groups composed of more than a hundred organizations and partners all over the Philippines expresses its full appreciation and support to his Holiness, Pope Francis, on this monumental day, June 18 of the present time as he gives light to one of the world’s most pressing issues: the environment and climate change.

As stewards of Mothers Earth, we have the obligation to nurture and protect the resources and creation His Almighty has given  us to call home. We must remember that we, the human race owe the Earth and not the other way around. Sadly, we have paid Mother Earth and our environment with nothing but abuse and irresponsibility as we prioritize capitalistic intentions above honoring the integrity of creation. We mutilate our lands, we pollute our bodies of water, we burn our forests, we plunder our resources, we kill our wildlife, we destroy with irrational liberty everything that nature has lent us.

History can attest how our savagery to the environment has paved the way for social and economic inequality. As we continue destroying nature for monetary gains, the poor becomes poorer and the rich becomes richer.  Here in the Philippines, environmentally destructive activities, such as mining has raised the socio-economic disparities of many if not all mining-affected communities. In fact, most mining-affected communities have high poverty rates and belong to the country’s poorest of the poor communities.

Aside from causing environmental degradation and increasing socio-economic inequality, environmentally destructive activities spawned many other negative impacts such as human rights abuses and violations and cultural displacement.

Environmentally destructive activities that exacerbate climate change have also made many countries, the Philippines included, to be more vulnerable to disasters brought by the climate crisis. No Filipino can ever forget Super Typhoon Yolanda and the devastation it brought everyone in the Eastern Visayas.

With this, Alyansa Tigil Mina calls on our world leaders to fulfil their moral obligation to Mother Earth. We call on all nations, including our very own government to fight climate change and give honor to God’s creation.  We must all respond with concrete action to the idea being proposed by Pope Francis – that of integral ecology.

Let us stop environmentally destructive activities and bear in mind what our capitalistic motivations have brought our world. Let us also be reminded that climate change and the threats it pose are far beyond political affiliations and boundaries or even religion. It is an issue that concerns each and every one of us that inhabit this world.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

(sgd.)
Fr. Edu Gariguez
Chairperson, Alyansa Tigil Mina

[Press Release] Envi groups renew call to scrap Mining Act -ATM

Envi groups renew call to scrap Mining Act

Photo by ATM

Photo by ATM

Environmental activists in chains dragged by a “golden grim ripper” marched towards the House of Representatives to call on the Congress to Scrap RA 7942, also known as the Mining Act of 1995 as the law marks its 20th year.

atm-logo

The action spearheaded by the group Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) which is celebrating their bi-annual movement ‘Mining Hell-Week’ gained the support of 100 strong activists,

Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and Non-government organizations (NGO) that shared the call to repeal the mining law and enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).

“This year marks 2 decades of impunity and injustice that the Mining Act of 1995 has brought to our country and countrymen.” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of ATM “We stand here today to call on our legislators to assess this flawed law and to bring justice where justice is due.”

In a statement released by ATM, the group noted that the Mining Act of ’95 brought more negative impacts as opposed to its promised supposed benefits.

ATM also stated that the academe and economists can attest that the industry has very little impact to our economy with 0.7-1% and 0.7% contribution to GDP and employment, respectively.

“We have been told time and again that the Mining Act will bring sustainable development to our country, however data clearly show that this is not the case.

“We have had enough with the false pretense and we would like to push the government to open their eyes on the reality that the Mining Act has done more harm than good.

“Right now we are not sure how the government define ‘sustainable development’, but we hope that destroying forests and watersheds, marginalizing indigenous and rural communities, putting peoples’ health at risk and robbing off people’s means of livelihood, aren’t it.” said Garganera.

Environment and Human Rights campaign center Tao Muna! Hindi Mina! (TMHM),also expressed their solidarity for the protest and backed the call noting that the “Mining Act of 1995 has not only spurred environmental destruction, but human rights violations as well.”

“Because of Mining Act of 1995’s corporate-centered and lenient provisions, we have been witnessed to extra-judicial killings brought by militarization in mining sites.” said Egay Cabalitan of TMHM.

“These unresolved killings brought by the inefficiency of the mining act to protect and uphold human rights clearly scream an injustice that needs to stop now.” added Cabalitan.

Meanwhile, lawmakers also showed their support to the environmental CSO and NGO communities calling for the repeal of the Mining act of 1995.

Nueva Viscaya Representative Carlos Padilla and AKBAYAN partylist Representative Barry Gutierrez were two among the legislators that voiced out their call for the scrapping of the law and the enactment of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

“The two decades of environmental destruction and degradation of human rights should be enough for the Supreme Court to rule against the constitutionality of the mining act of 1995.

“It is about time that we stop favouring the large-scale mining companies that are shamelessly exploiting and corrupting the real value and worth of our natural resources. We need an alternative policy that will stop the plunder of our country’s natural richness.” said rep. Gutierrez.

Representative Padilla shared the sentiments of Gutierrez while adding that “the mining act that the world dubbed as one of the ‘greatest’ in existence has brought irreparable destruction to our mountains, bodies of water and farmlands in Nueva Viscaya.”

According to the lawmaker, the Mining Act “has displaced communities, legitimized the plunder of our mineral resources and downgraded the capacity of communities to have a sustainable livelihood and food sources”.

“The country needs a policy that prioritizes the people and the environment, a policy that upholds human dignity, biodiversity and rightfully value our country’s mineral resources.

We have a bill that can make all these reality, I urge my co-lawmakers to take a stand against this impunity and enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.” he added.

—-

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 AMMB.

For more information: Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66, media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net or checkzab@gmail.com

Press Release
10 March 2015

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[Press Release] Mendiola March to pressure Malacanang against mining -ATM

Mendiola March to pressure Malacanang against mining

Photo by ATM

Photo by ATM

Environmental groups spearheaded by Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) finished off their week-long anti-mining solidarity activity on Thursday, September 18 with an estimate of 1000 advocates marching from Plaza Miranda to Mendiola.

atm-logo

The groups emphasized their message to Malacanang that mining is a destructive industry and recalled their messages during the “Run For Life No TO Mining” run and “Parada ng Mga Sakuna”. AMMB was also once again highlighted as the advocates screamed for the passage of the bill in Congress.

“Our numbers are not just mere numbers” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.

“The sea of environmental advocates, human rights defenders, political organizations, civil society organizations and peoples organizations represent our unwavering spirit to protect our environment against the destructive impacts of the mining industry.” He added.

Among the organizations that supported ATM over the past week were AKBAYAN partylist, Aniban ng Manggagawang sa Agirkultura (AMA), Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), SANLAKAS, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), SOS-Yamang Bayan, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and KPML.

“Our calls for environmental protection and human rights assertion will never falter.” Said Fr, Oli Castor of PMPI.

“Though we had the misfortune of losing brothers and sisters in this battle against corporate greed and impunity, the memory of Juvy Capion, her two sons, and many other environmental advocates who were killed, will always serve as a reminder on why we will keep on fighting.” Added Fr. Castor.

A local organization opposing mining in Cagayan province joined the protest, echoing ATM’s demands. Alliance for Buguey Committed for Development Association (ALBUCODA) headed by Rosbin Martin has led a campaign that led to the suspension of black-sand mining in the town of Buguey, Cagayan.

Martin was joined by leaders of two other peoples organizations – Aparrianos Movement for the Conservation and Environmental Protection (AMCEP) and Concerned Laloeno Against Illegal Mining (CLAIM) – both also from Cagayan, have lodged complaints at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau against black-sand mining.

“We are one with ATM in this vision of putting those who have wronged our environment with their viscous and destructive mining operations to be put to a stop once and for all.

“As someone who has experienced the first-hand adverse effects of mining, it has been a personal vow to ensure that our children and our children’s children will still be able to enjoy a safe and bountiful earth.” said Martin.

Other mining-affected areas from Nueva Viscaya, Romblon, Leyte, Cagayan, Cantilan and Zambales also joined the solidarity protest of the environmental groups by performing local solidarity actions in their respective areas.

In a closing message, Garganera reiterated that “there is no future in mining for the Filipinos if the Mining Act of 1995 and current practices will prevail.” He also called on the government to “Stop the plunder, Scrap the Philippine Mining of 1995, enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill, and uphold human rights.”

“For those who think that our advocacies end here today, I am afraid that they are sadly mistaken. ATM will continue to help, uphold and defend mining-affected areas until the plunder, the abuse and the violations have stopped.” concluded Garganera.

###

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 AMMB.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer (0927) 623.50.66 media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net
Primo Morillo, PMPI, Advocacy Staff, (0922) 850. 18. 74 <primo.pmpi@gmail.com>
Rosbin Martin, ALBUCODA Head, (0917) 859.14.20

Press Release
September 18, 2014

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[Press Release] Groups accuse MMDC of new violations -ATM

Groups accuse MMDC of new violations

Anti-mining Coalition in Cantilan, Nagpakabana Na CarCanMadCarLanon (NNC), once again declared battle against MarcVentures Mining Development Corporations (MMDC) for the company’s alleged violation of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s (MGB) stoppage order issued on April 22, 2014.

atm-logo

According to NNC, MMDC has been doing full mining operations in Cabangahan, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur since May 12 despite the stoppage order.

In a letter to MGB Director Leo Jasareno, NNC condemns MMDC’s operations, pointing out that the company violated the stoppage order which states that MMDC is only allowed to do remediation activity in Cantilan, and not extraction and disposition of mineral ores.

NNC’s letter to MGB also requests for MMDC’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) to be cancelled for the ‘serious violations’ it allegedly committed.

The claim was supported by photos and videos that show an array of heavy equipment including backhoes and dump trucks in the mine site and remains of bulldozed trees in the head waters of Carac-an Watershed Forest Reserves.

Chito Trillanes, Spokesperson of Vicariate Social Action Center(VSAC) said that “MMDC is clearly using the remediation activity as a front to their illegal mining activities.

He also added that, aside from this violation, “MMDC is also defying the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cantilan that prohibits them to perform mining operations in the Watershed Forest Reserves in Cantilan, Carrascal and Madrid.”

On a follow up communication, Trillanes called MGB Caraga Officer-In-Charge, ENGR. NOLI N. ARREZA, to bring to his attention these alleged illegal extraction activities performed by MMDC. Engr. Arreza told him that they already called the resident manager of MMDC who denied the accusations.

“MMDC can not deny their violations. We have proof that they are violating the stoppage order MGB issued. Said Emma Y. Hotchkiss, NNC Chairperson.

Hotchkiss asserted, “We demand the urgent issuance by MGB of a cease and desist order against MMDC with a directive to immediately stop its activities and to remove all its equipments from the mine site in Cabangahan, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur.”

 

Meanwhile, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a partner organization of NNC expressed its full support on the group’s actions against MMDC.
“If MMDC thinks they can get away with this, they have never been more wrong. We are ready to take every possible legal step to make sure that justice will be served.” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.

###

Nagpakabana Na CarCanMad CarLanon (NNC) is an alliance of different sectoral groups and civil society organizations dedicated to protecting the environment in Surigao del Sur. Baywatch Foundation and CARCANMADCARLANPAR Social Action Center (VSAC) are members of the coalition.

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the AMMB.

For more information:

Emma Hotchkiss, Baywatch Foundation Chairperson, 09054935061 <emma.hotchkiss@gmail.com>
Chito Trillanes, Vicariate of CARCANMADCARLANPAR Social Action Center Spokesperson, (0919) 962. 5131 <chitotrillanes@yahoo.com.ph>
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0917) 549.82.18 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 <checkzab@gmail.com>

ATM Press Release
June 7, 2014

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[Statement] ATM Statement for Earth Day: Filipinos should assert their right in protecting the environment

ATM Statement for Earth Day: Filipinos should assert their right in protecting the environment

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

‘Ganansya ng iilan, disgrasya ng mamamayan’— As the world celebrates Earth Day, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) a coalition of more than a hundred environmental and anti-mining groups continues its cry for a more sustainable future, not just for the environment but for the people of the Philippines.

atm-logo

“When it comes to environmental issues, there are just so many things to deal with. There is deforestation, destruction of biodiversity and of course destructive and irresponsible mining, among others. The issue even extends to human rights violations and the abuse of rights of our Indigenous Peoples” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.

“But these issues are not hopeless. International and local groups from different sectors are doing their best to resolve these problems. The question however, is how willing are we to open our minds and assert our rights for a clean and safe environment. As long as we let the dysfunctional system and the culprits behind these environmental atrocities do what they do, we can continue to fight for 50 years or more and not even make a dent to save the Earth.” Garganera added.

ATM and other environmental organizations and sectors urge the public to take part in preserving the environment. Filipinos must use their right as a power against the environmental offenders especially now that climate change is threatening to intensify ‘disgrasya ng mamamayan’.

“We do not have to look so far behind our history to recount instances when our vulnerability as a nation was intensified by mining, coal plants operations, deforestation and other acts and operations that are clear desecration of our environment. 19 years ago, the Mining Act of 1995 was enacted and it has brought an imbalanced development but inconsiderate extraction of our national resources, destruction of our environment, health risk to the people and a long list of mining disasters that have left irreversible consequences to the affected communities. Just 5 months ago, Yolanda struck us and look how deforestation and mining contributed to the devastation it brought” Garganera stressed. Truly, the social, environmental and political costs of mining far outweigh its supposed economic benefits.

According to the most recent climate change report released by the United Nations last march 30, the intensifying global warming will gravely affect  countries that rely on agriculture and fishery, and linking it to the booming population that is estimated to become 9.7 billion by 2050, worldwide hunger has been foreseen.

The Philippines, which mostly depends on agriculture and fishery as livelihood resources is bound to suffer more as climate change aggravates. The effects of mining and other activities that are considered detrimental to environmental services – such as vast deforestation and coal plant operations – do not help in averting the climate crisis that we are facing. The contradicting policies on addressing climate change and mining and other development projects are going to lead us nowhere. For this, ATM is calling upon citizens of our country to stand up against these environmental atrocities because ‘Ganansiya ng iilan’ has to stop, otherwise, hope falls short for the rest of the Filipino people.

“Environmental organizations, other concerned sectors even the government, can only do so much if we do not fight against these environmental aggressors. Moreover, let us fight the biggest aggressor, which is the apathy that we have when it comes to environmental concerns. Protecting our environment starts in our homes, the way we think, the way we act. Let us make Earth Day not a one day event, let us celebrate it every day of our lives. ” Garganera concluded.
————
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the AMMB.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0917) 549.82.18, nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 checkzab@gmail.com

Statement
April 22, 2014

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

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