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Eight reasons why Aquino’s new mining policy is deadlier than Mining Act of 1995

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eight reasons why Aquino’s new mining policy is deadlier than Mining Act of 1995


“The final, long awaited EO makes it clear that Malacañang has addressed only the concerns of foreign business but brushed away legitimate concerns of mining affected communities and environmental groups.” – Kalikasan Party-list

By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – As Malacañang released this week the copy of the executive order on mining it signed last Saturday, the church through the CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines), progressive groups under the umbrella of Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment and other environmentalist groups immediately voiced their opposition to and reservation with the EO.

“That President Benigno “Noynoy’ Aquino III chose to issue an EO in the first place, instead of supporting the legislative efforts for the enactment of an Alternative Minerals Management Bill or the People’s Mining Bill, pending in the House of Representatives, betrays this government’s intent of upholding and strengthening the destructive and anti-people Philippine Mining Act of 1995,” said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan in a statement.

Environmentalists hurl eggs at Aquino’s picture during a rally at Mendiola. (Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
Perhaps in an effort to disarm what the government calls as “anti-mining advocacy,” Aquino’s newly signed executive order on mining uses “elegant language” and terms that sound like it is attending to the wounds inflicted by the 17-year old Mining Act of 1995. But various sectors and environmentalist groups are not fooled.

Allies of the Kalikasan Partylist trooped to Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang last Tuesday to hurl rotten eggs at a smiling picture of President Aquino. He had not only signed what the protesters describe as a “masterfully deceptive” executive order, he has also been openly promoting large-scale mining despite the growing peoples’ protests.


Dressed up go-signals to increased mining operations

Based on statements of Kalikasan Partylist and other progressive groups, the following are some of the ways in which Aquino’s Mining EO has cunningly dressed up its drive for increased liberalization in mining:

1.‘No more mining applications’ – It appears like a mining moratorium but it actually does the opposite. Even as the EO temporarily closes the door on new mining entrants, it welcomes, at the same time, hundreds that have approved mining applications before the signing of the Executive Order last July 6.

Data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau show that as of June 30, 2012, the government has already approved around 771 kinds of large-scale permits covering 1,009,161.21 hectares or almost 1/30 of the country’s total land area (see table). Over half of these cover ancestral territories of indigenous peoples’ group, practically threatening their very survival.


(Source:www.mgb.gov.ph / bulatlat.com)
Aquino himself has approved more than 270,000 hectares of mineral lands for mining operations in the past two years, KAMP said.
The supposed mining ban is to end when a new law tweaking mining revenue is out, said Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP). But given that “Congress and the Supreme Court are under President Aquino’s control, his administration can easily railroad the enactment of the new revenue scheme on mining and lift the moratorium,” said Kakay Tolentino of Katribu Partylist.

Further belying the purported ban or controls on mining are various provisions in the EO to process mining permits more rapidly, such as the one-stop shop, Kalikasan Partylist added.

2.‘Closing some areas to mining’ – This should have been music to the ears of environmentalists, but aside from the fact that the EO is not closing areas in dire need of protection against mining, the areas it did identify for closing have already been classified as in need of protection under different laws, which, said the Kalikasan Partylist, have loopholes.

The NIPAS law, for example, requires a lengthy and expensive process before an area can be officially declared as a protected area, said Frances Quimpo, secretary general of Kalikasan Partylist. As of 2012, she said, there are still only 240 protected areas.

“Unless a biodiversity and mineral-rich area is officially declared a protected area, there is still a chance that mining companies will be able to control them,” said Quimpo. Thus, it appears that the EO’s closing of some areas to mining is just an empty boast.

3.‘Only explorations allowed’ – Allowing mining companies to do exploration is not that far from allowing them to do actual extraction, based on Philippine experience. Aquino’s EO still allows mining companies to get exploration permits, which can be upgraded or used as basis later for the application of Mineral Production and Sharing Agreements or outright mining permit, said the Kalikasan Partylist.

In practice, it has also been the bitter experience of indigenous peoples’ groups that exploration permits are used as cover-up for extractive activities, Kakay Tolentino of Katribu Partylist told Bulatlat.com. Exploration permits are also relatively easier to get, since it does not require an Environmental Compliance Certificate.


Protesters denounce both Mining Act and new EO (Photo by Jhun Dantes / bulatlat.com)
4.‘Existing mining contracts up for review’ – It sounds like the often complained of mining companies would finally be called to task, but such is the language of the EO that it “practically assures a favorable outcome for mining permit holders because it must be ‘mutually acceptable,’ to the government and the mining sector,” said Kalikasan Partylist. The group noted that the EO is also silent on whether the affected communities would have a say on the review or, in any case, renegotiation of mining contracts.

The review may also just turn out into another “kotong scheme” for government officials, or ways in which corrupt government leaders can get their hands on “a bigger cut by allowing big foreign mining firms to destroy the environment, exploit the nation’s natural resources, and endanger mine workers’ health and safety,” said the labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in a statement..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/13/eight-reasons-why-aquino%E2%80%99s-new-mining-policy-is-deadlier-than-the-mining-act-of-1995/

Wimps Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Wimps


Noynoy is really coming off as a wimp — despite the confrontational stance he and his Foreign secretary, Albert del Rosario, took at the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit that was a total failure, with the Asean foreign ministers unable to even come up with a joint communiqué in its 45 years of existence.

A Chinese naval frigate which was left stranded for at least four days in Half Moon Shoal ended up with a Chinese fishing vessel coming to its rescue for the refloating of the naval frigate. There was not a pip from the Philippine government that even said it was not going to lodge any protest against China, with all of these officials chorusing that this was merely an accident caused by human error.

Amazing, since there has been no investigation at all from the Philippine side, yet its conclusion was that the Chinese naval accidental foray in the shoal, which certainly was well within the Philippines’ territorial waters, was an accident caused by human error.

Moreover, the Noynoy government didn’t even bother to question why the frigate hit the country’s territorial waters, but merely judged it as an accident..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1624-wimps

Last-minute cosmetic job for the Sona Written by Charlie V. Manalo

Last-minute cosmetic job for the Sona


With President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address (Sona) barely a week to go, with his administration’s electoral sabotage case against his predecessor slowly crumbling to pieces with no less than 10 of its 11 of their own witnesses clearing the former leader of any wrongdoing in the 2007 elections, and with netizens all over the world voting Noynoy as the world’s all-time worst leader, outranking Germany’s Adolf Hitler and his own mother, the administration had to embark on a last-minute cosmetic job to rehabilitate its deteriorating face.

Yesterday, the Ombudsman filed another non-bailable case against former President, now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, this time, a plunder case for alleged misuse of hundreds of million in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) intelligence funds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1622-last-minute-cosmetic-job-for-the-sona

US Navy ship opens fire in Gulf killing one

US Navy ship opens fire in Gulf killing one


Rising tension in the Gulf has claimed a victim as a civilian boat came under fire from a US Navy ship after getting too close to an American tanker. One person was killed and three others wounded in the incident, say US officials.

­The security watch of the US fleet tanker USNS Rappahannock spotted a small white-hulled boat, which continued to approach the ship despite a series of warnings.

“The US crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach. When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun,” said Lt. Greg Raelson, a spokesman for the Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/us-fire-gulf-boat-326/

West is using 'blackmail' in new draft of UN resolution on Syria - Lavrov (w/ Video)


  
West is using 'blackmail' in new draft of UN resolution on Syria - Lavrov

Western governments are trying to blackmail Russia into supporting their interpretation of the Syrian resolution, said Russia’s Foreign Minister. They have threatened to end the UN observer mission if an agreement is not reached.
“If our western partners do not recognize the fact that if they block our resolution to the conflict then the UN observer mission will have to withdraw from Syria, it will be regrettable indeed,” said Minister Lavrov.
He added that Russia gives its full support to Kofi Annan’s peace plan, but some western powers have distorted the document’s meaning to push for the removal of President Bashar Assad. The resolution reached in New York does in no way stipulate the ouster of Assad, said Lavrov..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/blackmail-resolution-syria-lavrov-255/

Blackwater illegally paid millions in taxpayer money

Blackwater illegally paid millions in taxpayer money


For half a decade, American taxpayers unknowingly spent millions of dollars every year to fund private security agency Blackwater’s so-called “democracy building” missions in Iraq.

A new report completed by the US State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors Office of Inspector General shines light on a travesty involving the massive misuse of public funds.

Between 2004 and 2009, millions of dollars in taxpayer monies could have been saved had the International Republican Institute — a bipartisan, nonprofit organization chaired by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — used their federal funding more efficiently. Instead, however, the IRI handed over massive sums of money to the Blackwater security group so that they could send armed guards to Iraq..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/blackwater-security-iri-report-300/

A dysfunctional system run by crooks Written by Ken Fuller T

A dysfunctional system run by crooks


Decades ago, those of us who attended political economy classes were told that the problem with the capitalist system was not that it was run by a bunch of crooks but that its internal contradictions were a recipe for crisis.

Although that still sounds about right, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that the system is, indeed, run by crooks. The latest scandal arises from the fact that Barclays Bank has been forced to cough up $450 million for having participated in a scheme to fix the London interbank offered rate (Libor — the rate at which banks lend to each other).

Barclays’ boss Bob Diamond has now fallen on his sword, having tendered his resignation and waved goodbye to deferred bonuses and other goodies worth as much as £20 million. He will, however, receive a farewell package worth around £2 million. A criminal investigation has been launched, and financial institutions in the USA and Japan are also expected to come under scrutiny.

The first appearance of capitalism in its developed form in Britain owed much to the institution of slavery, as profits from the slave trade provided a large part of the capital accumulation which fueled the industrial revolution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1621-a-dysfunctional-system-run-by-crooks

Hacienda Luisita: Again and again and again Written by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz

Hacienda Luisita: Again and again and again


There are certain problems that either evade or refuse solutions. There are issues that for one reason or another remain unsettled and undefined. There are these and those disputes that elude settlement on account of this or that cause. Such a bitter and lamentable phenomenon receives different expressions, especially among simple yet intuitive people. A curse, a malediction, a plague — right or wrong, these are some of the terms used to point out such an insistently reigning and persisting misfortune.

When such a distressing reality refuses to go away, to disappear, to die, it goes on without saying that it acquires its pursuant social notoriety and public disgust. There seems to be some evil spirit reigning behind it — true or not.

But one thing is certain: The continuous and certified victims of such a repulsive issue are precisely those who want it resolved once and for all. They are the ones who instead eventually disappear — are killed, murdered, slaughtered — one after another. Yet the gross problematic rarity remains a concrete and living actuality..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1620-hacienda-luisita-again-and-again-and-again

Enrile, Belmonte to meet Aquino on Cha-cha

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feli-ciano Belmonte Jr. are set to seek an audience with Pre-sident Aquino in a last ditch effort to con-vince the Chief Executive into sup-porting moves to amend the 1987 Constitution, more popularly known as Charter change (Cha-cha). According to House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, both leaders of Congress have agreed to appeal to the President.

“They agreed on seeing President Aquino to personally explain the wisdom behind the revived efforts to push Charter change aimed at hastening economic and social development in the country,” said Gonzales who was present during the meeting.

“Political matters were not included, the initiative is purely on economic provisions,” he added.

While Cha-cha is purely a legislative affair, Gonzales admitted the importance of securing the support of the President.

“We really need to get the President on board,” he stressed.

Gonzales said Enrile and Belmonte must convince Aquino about their proposed amendments otherwise they should forget about the move..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1656-enrile-belmonte-to-meet-aquino-on-cha-cha

US Pacific brass in town; Huge Sino fleet at Spratlys

US Pacific brass in town; Huge Sino fleet at Spratlys


As the commander of the United States’ Pacific Command (USPACOM) landed yesterday in the country apparently to discuss regional security with his local counterparts, a big fleet of Chinese fishing vessels arrived at the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea the day before in two disparate events but  which are expected to further heat up tensions between the Philippines and China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the USPACOM, met with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa shortly after an arrival honor was held in Camp Aguinaldo yesterday afternoon.

After the honors, AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. told reporters the meeting between Dellosa and Locklear would tackle the tension between the Philippines and China over the disputed South China Sea.

“That (dispute) is among the issues that involved AFP and the US Armed Forces, that is included in the discussion of security issues that has bearing on regional security and stability,” said Burgos..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1655-us-pacific-brass-in-town-huge-sino-fleet-at-spratlys

Congress dooms RH bill

Congress dooms RH bill

The reproductive health bill, energetically pushed by progressive women legislators, is about to be doomed for the nth time since the past several Congresses.

House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II revealed that even Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile was convinced that the measure, opposed by the Catholic Church, may not be able to see the light of day.

Gonzales was alluding to the meeting between the Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. who talked about Congress’ legislative agenda for the third regular session, which will start on July 23..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1665-congress-dooms-rh-bill

Buhay solons move to criminalize phishing

Buhay solons move to criminalize phishing


Saying illegal Internet activities in the country were already alarming, Buhay Reps. Irwin Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde have defined and penalized phishing in their proposed Anti-Phishing Bill of 2012.

House Bill 6199 defines phishing as an act of securing personal information such as usernames, passwords, bank account numbers and credit card details and using it in fraud or identity theft and misrepresentation.

The bill imposes a 12-year imprisonment and a fine of P200,000 on violators and their accomplices.

Velarde said two cybercrime bills, Senate Bill 2796 or “An Act Defining Cybercrime, Providing for Prevention, Investigation and Imposition of Penalties Therefor and For Other Purposes” and HB 5808 or “An Act Preventing Cybercrime, Providing for the Prevention, Suppression and the Imposition of Penalties Therefor and for Other Purposes,” which was passed on third reading, are pending approval..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1664-buhay-solons-move-to-criminalize-phishing

1 dead, 2 hurt in Basilan strafing

1 dead, 2 hurt in Basilan strafing


One civilian was killed and two others were wounded after armed men strafed a motorized boat, loaded with some 400 passengers including some poll registrants of the  Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), in Basilan early yesterday morning.

Col. Ramon Yogyog, commander of the Army’s Special Operations Task Force-Basilan, said the strafing happened between Calang Canas and Tamuk islands in Maluso town at around 1 a.m.

Yogyog said the motorized boat Marlboro was sailing from Zamboanga City to Tabuan Lasa town, also in Basilan, when four unidentified armed men on two pumpboats sprayed the boat with bullets.

The boat was reportedly owned by Mohammad Nordani, chairman of Barangay Canas in Maluso town.
The armed men used an M16 rifle with attached M203 grenade launcher and M14 rifle.

The Army official said there were more or less 400 passengers aboard the motorized boat when the attack happened..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1662-1-dead-2-hurt-in-basilan-strafing

3rd Malaysian caught with shabu at NAIA

3rd Malaysian caught with shabu at NAIA


Immigration and Customs officials held a Malaysian national who was carrying  four kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Caught was Hock Guan who arrived last Sunday night aboard Dragon Air flight KA931 from Hong Kong, according to immigration records.

NAIA customs deputy collector for passenger services Thess Roque said Guan  proceeded to Customs officer Sahlee Cudanin to have his gray hard case bag examined.

Upon examination, Cudanin discovered a false buttom in the bag forcing her to perform a thorough inspection. The bottom was opened and disclosed the illegal drugs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1633-3rd-malaysian-caught-with-shabu-at-naia

Parañaque offers NBI mobile service

Parañaque offers NBI mobile service


The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), in partnership with the Parañaque City government under Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr. will hold another  mobile NBI clearance service on Tuesday July 17 from 8:00 a.m. To 5:00 p.m. at the Executive Lounge on the second floor of the city hall.

The activity was coordinated by the Parañaque City Tourism Office headed by Marilou Fontejon, the Special Services Office headed by dean Calleja and the office of Councilor Benjo Bernabe.  It is one of the city’s programs to bring more service closer to the people..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1630-para%C3%B1aque-offers-nbi-mobile-service

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