SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
The national democratic partylist, Bayan Muna, has stated that more large scale mining operations within the Philippines will lead to more land grabbing by corporate giants and human rights violations:
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate’s warning was made in time with the mining confab organized by the industry lobby group Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP), which “unfortunately will not highlight the worsening global mining crisis, unabated and unaddressed mining-related human rights violations, and mining disasters in the country.”
“Instead of pushing for this economically elitist and environmentally destructive mining thrust, it will be well for the Aquino administration to instead prioritize House Bill 171 or the People’s Mining Act of 2013. Now is the opportune time to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and enact HB 171, otherwise our already fast depleting mineral resources will only be plundered to benefit only the these profit-greedy foreign mining corporations. What we need now is a more responsive and people oriented mining law,” the progressive solon said.
On the mining-related human rights violations, the Mindanao solon cited the August 23 killing of Datu Anting Freay, a respected B’laan leader in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, where the Lumads are waging strong opposition to the open-pit copper-gold mining project of multinational Glencore-Xstrata-SMI involving thousands of hectares in the tri-boundaries of South Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Sultan Kudarat provinces. Datu Anting’s 16-year old son, Victor, was also killed in the same incident, which witnesses said was perpetrated by members of the Army’s 39th IB.
The deaths of the Freays happened even as the killings in October last year of anti-mining activist Juvy Caption and her two children, also in the same disputed mining project site of Glencore-Xstrata-SMI, remains unresolved. The army personnel responsible for the Capion deaths were only transferred to another area of assignment while supposedly awaiting results of a court martial proceeding.
The People’s Mining Bill that Zarate co-authored seeks to reorient the Philippine mining industry towards the “wise and sustainable development and judicious use” of the country’s mineral resources.
“Our Peoples’ Mining Bill does not only recognize the urgent need to protect the environment, but, more importantly the need to reorient the utilization of our natural resources towards genuine economic growth, that is, growth that benefits the majority of our people and not only the few,” Zarate ended.