Why Duterte wants to repeal the country’s mining law?

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DAVAO CITY (September 18) — President Rodrigo  Duterte on Monday said he wants to talk with members of the House of Representatives about the mining law, which according to him needs to be looked into.

Duterte issued the pronouncement Monday after he met the bereaved families  of those who died due to landslide brought about by  Typhoon ‘Ompong’ in  Cordellera Monday.

The mining industry, according to Duterte is a problem “Though I must admit that we earn about 70 billion a year. And if you’re ready to accept that as a good, as a profit, let us make it simple for the country, but in the end, how much do you lose in the process?.”

Over the years, Duterte emphasized  “That mining thing has really contributed a lot of heartaches for the Filipino people. It is time for us particularly the DENR, General Cimatu, to take a second look seriously now regarding the dangers of the open-pit mining.”

According to Duterte, in Davao region alone, hundreds have died due to landslides, people were killed fighting over the holes, the tunnels that they have built.

The interest groups include those who have the guns and the goons and that includes everybody, the politicians, the military,  former policemen, who made it rich. But they have such a gory experience of killing people.

During the briefing Duterte elaborated:

“I’d like to focu — or tell you to focus on the 70 billion and the human side of the story of mining. Kaya dito, paano hindi sila ma-ano. It’s mined over. I think there has been a lot of mining there and these mining companies sometimes leave a lot of impurities, chemicals, and all.

And they have not been really cleaning the place. Marcopper I think is still leaving a swath of poisonous material. I grieve for my country.  Kasi naawa ako sa bayan ko.

And if I were to try to do my thing, I will close all mining in the Philippines. Never mind about the 70 billion. Well, of course the Finance people are the ones who would object first and I can understand because they are the guys who are tasked to look for the money and beg, steal, or borrow diyan ‘pag naiipit ka, basta as long as they can produce money.

But for me, as a politician for quite a time and until now and maybe towards the end, in a few years, ganun ang nakikita ko sa bayan ko, insofar as mining pati itong weather.

Ang problema dito, hindi mo talaga alam. They can make projections from satellite and all, readings from the — they measure the heat of the oceans and the migration of animals indicating that there is a warming there and the lost of the marine life even, because they use chemical, cyanide.

One is that — let me just give you a theory — is our resources as a nation, both food and marine life and everything, cannot absorb or sustain the sheer population of the Philippines. That translates to hunger and hunger means health issues then education and opportunities.

Ngayon, dagdagan mo ng ganito. Ang tao maski na how dangerous it might be or it may present itself to the — would always dare to take the risk because of the economy.

Personal economics, pagkain niya. And the desire to make money because you have to send your school — children to school. They have to eat and everything that you need everyday.

So we have a problem because every time there’s a typhoon, it does not end there. Even the naming of the typhoon from the time it is spotted or discovered, until the time it reaches the area of responsibility, then you have the — make fun of choosing names. It does not end there.

Once it hits areas that are — well habitation is heavy, density and the fact that there are trap doors there waiting and dito sa bukid, it’s mining.

So when you hear about a typhoon automatically lahat ng departamento sa gobyerno apektado na. It’s not about mining only. Mining would just be there to watch.

But what happens next is something to reckon with. Death, decay, lack of food, water, shelter, health. Kasali lahat ‘yan and it translates into — sabi mo ngang damages, 14 billion. That’s 14 billion. But then you have to rehabilitate everybody. The long-term is the ones that we give now — water, food, immediately. But the schools remained occupied by the evacuees, so the children’s educational system or the period is broken.

So,  it contributes a lot of things. Kaya itong sabihin mo, if you really want to — you have to gather them and tell them straight, you cannot mine in your own backyard. And so everybody will do it and it becomes a place of habitation and when there is water, it goes down and because there are no trees anymore, it weakens the soil then suddenly ‘pag napuno na because of — you add weight. Nature counts the — even the how many pounds of… ‘Pag dinagdag mo ‘yan diyan sa taas, including the vibration of the machines and everything, and the occasional explosion, which would shatter the structure of the soil itself. The soil itself it’s fragile.

We have to… If we cannot end mining because there’s a law — and to end mining, it is Congress will have to abrogate the law.

Me, I think that we would need a rest — a respite, period of inactivity diyan sa soil, and even the watershed.

Itong mga s*** na ‘to, they are occupying even the watershed. Supposed to be… You know life without water is no life at all. And even the tributaries, the rivers and the creeks ‘pag ang soil niyan pati plus the chemicals that you use sa — patay ang isda. Ang tao walang pagkain.

They used to have fish and that was before when there was paradise as yet. But very early it came. You know I do not want to… I said it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

So what do you get? Is it really worth the 70 billion that you get? I know because I had so many arguments with the finance people kasi it’s a matter of correcting.

Pero itong mga minero, the rich one, parang their penchant to just violate the law. Because nobody was ever even arrested. You know even if the — the thing is a continuing or a continuous series of violations, they are not arrested. They’re just exposed by media, the enterprising ones. And the government would just call and investigate and after that, mawala.”

One day, Duterte said, he will  meet the leaders of Congress to discuss the mining law.-NewsLine.ph


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