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Quirino folks form anti-mining network, vow to stop mining

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quirino folks form anti-mining network, vow to stop mining
By FINELA MEJIA
Northern Dispatch
QUIRINO, Ilocos Sur — “Let us bind together, tight as a rope, so that we can bring down the big mining companies,” said Ama Felipe Anaas during the Quirino Environment and Human Rights Summit.

With the theme “Protect the Mountains, Fields and Rivers,” 120 participants from various sectors of Quirino, Ilocos Sur discussed environment and human rights issues related to large-scale mining in the said summit last June 8.

The activity resulted in the formation of “Save Quirino Movement,” a municipal-wide network that aims to strengthen the people’s unity in order to launch more coordinated and organized actions in addressing issues of mining and human rights violations.

The summit was organized by the concerned elders of Quirino, including representatives of the Cabaroan Nieghborhood Organization, Lamag Ob-ubo Association, Patungcaleo Improvement Farmers Association organizations, Timapuyog Dagiti Marigrigat ti Madapoy, in partnership with BAMPIS (Benguet, Abra, Mountain Province, Ilocos Sur), Mining Watch and Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA).

To show solidarity with Quirino folks, members of Save Mankayan Movement (SMM) and DEFEND Ilocos also attended the summit to share and exchange experiences with the locals.

History of mining and agricultural destruction

Quirino, Ilocos Sur, is seriously devastated by voluminous toxicities, massive sedimentation and widespread siltation of the Abra River, brought about by historical mines waste from the mining operation of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company(LCMCo). Since the operation of the said firm in 1936, the municipality of Quirino has lost its bountiful and historical fishing ground and vast tracks of highly productive agricultural lands as main source of livelihood.

The ongoing mining operation and expansion of LCMCo and its giant mining partner Gold Fields in Mankayan, the ongoing mining exploration of Royalco in Bakun Benguet, and the two-year mining exploration of Freeport McMoran/PhelpsDodge in Brgy Patiacan, Quirino, spook the people of Quirino that these large-scale mining would likely ravage what remained of their agricultural lands..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/18/quirino-folks-form-anti-mining-network-vow-to-stop-mining/

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