Sound the alarm against large-scale mining — Ilagan

Mar. 29, 2009

As a response to the call of the indigenous people to stop the mining operations in ancestral domains, Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan demanded the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and for indigenous people to intensify their campaign and mass actions to add pressure to the government.

In a forum initiated by Alarm (Ancestral Land At Risk in Mining), the Gabriela solon said that the Mining Act of 1995 has long been serving the interests of mining companies while destroying the lands and lives of the Lumads (collective term for indigenous peoples in Mindanao). No mining company has ever practiced responsible mining as large scale mining operations have caused massive destruction of the environment, she said.

Aside from exploitation of the natural resources, Ilagan added that food security of people in the mining areas has also been threatened.

Changing the economic provisions of the constitution, through HR 737, sponsored by Speaker (Prospero) Nograles, allowing the hundred percent acquisition of foreign corporations of public and private lands, is practically surrendering the patrimony of the nation, Rep. Ilagan said.

Mining development should be programmed in accordance with the availability of resources, without sacrificing the capability and well being of the people. Unfortunately, the reality tells us that the massive mining operations in the country have not respected the people’s rights and interests. Ilagan said.

Rep. Ilagan mentioned that the harassment and killing tribal leaders and activists who fought against the entry of mining companies are manifestations that the Arroyo government is not interested in upholding the welfare of the Filipino people, especially the Lumads. With charter change, Arroyo would be giving away the country for free. Ilagan said.

For reference:

Rep. Luz Ilagan (0920-9213221)

Lorie Ann Cascaro (Public Information Officer, 0920-9523463)

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