Melito Glor Command, New People’s Army-Southern Tagalog Statement
The 3rd of March 2017 marks the 22nd year of environmental plunder under the Mining Act of 1995. Under the act, large-scale, foreign, and destructive mining has spread like wildfire throughout the country.
In the Southern Tagalog region, mining corporations have rampantly ravaged the lives of numerous people, particularly small farmers and indigenous people.
The Rio Tuba Nickel Mines Corporation and its joint venture, the Coral Bay Nickel Mining Corporation, in Bataraza, Palawan has caused massive environmental damage in Mt. Bulanjao and its surrounding communities. Tremendous water contamination of heavy metals, such as nickel and hexavalent chromium, in the river systems around Mt. Bulanjao has affected numerous communities in the periphery of the mines. It has also caused erosion that has significantly affected the rice paddies and other forms of livelihood of local small farmers and indigenous people’s communities. The company has also illegally encroached in the remaining primary forest areas of Mt. Bulanjao to expand their mining activities. The people, on the other hand, remain silenced due to the company’s use of Philippine Marines and CAFGU (Civillian Armed Forces Geographical Unit) elements as their special security forces. Both companies are affiliated with the controversial Taganito Mining Corporation in Surigao del Norte.
The island of Mindoro is also a victim of mining pillage. An example of which is the Intex Mining Corporation in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. Intex Mines is notorious for occupying Mangyan ancestral lands in the mountain areas of Naujan and exploiting them as a cheap source of labor. The mines have also caused irremediable environmental damage by contaminating river systems and deforesting primary secondary forested areas.
On the other hand, along the boundary area of Quezon and Camarines Norte, the VL Mining Company has laid waste on the Mt. Cadig area with their heavy metal mining and quarrying operations while being safeguarded by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Their mining operations have caused flash floods that wash out crops of small farming communities.
Let previous mining disasters such as the Marcopper mining disaster in Marinduque, persistent river pollution cause by Atlas Mines in Toledo City, Cebu, and the Rapu-rapu Mine leakage in the province of Albay serve as a reminder of how big a disaster these mines may cause to the environment and especially to the people.
Moreover, mining corporations continue to overstep our national sovereignty and patrimony in such that instead of our resources being utilized by the Filipino citizens, they are being used by big bourgeois compradors to rake in profits in the billions. The Mining Act of 1995 is a manifestation of the reactionary government’s connivance with these compradors and their ignorance of the people’s interests.
It is in this spirit that the Melito Glor Command New People’s Army – Southern Tagalog calls to oust all large-scale, foreign mining corporations out of the country. It is high time that people unite to intensify the people’s democratic revolution. This is the only way in which we can ensure genuine national industrialization that shall pave the way for a nationalized mining system and to ensure that the people will utilize what is reaped from our land.