Marinduquenos support Bicolanos vs mining

Suportado ng mga taga-Marinduque ang paglaban ng mga Bicolano laban sa muling pagbubukas ng La Fayette sa Bicol. Narito ang pahayag ng Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns:

BOAC, MARINDUQUE – The Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC), joins the people of Albay and Sorsogon and other environmental groups in condemning in the highest degree the recent decision of DENR to allow the re-opening of La Fayette Mining despite the damages it wrought to the rich fishing ground of the area and its continuous threat to the people and the environment.

The series of mining disasters (heavy metal contamination in Calancan Bay since 1975, collapse of Maguilaguila Siltation Dam in 1993, and the infamous Boac River Environmental Disaster of 1996) which we experienced in Marinduque due to the irresponsible operation of Placer Dome, Inc (now Barrick, Inc.) and Marcopper Mining Corporation and the inefficiency of the government’s environment agencies are coming back to us as nightmares when we heard of the cyanide spill in Rapu-rapu.

But even more painful for us, Marinduqueños, is our unending quest for environmental justice which brought us to Nevada, USA to file charges against Placer Dome for dumping its responsibilities for the clean-up of the impacted environment and ecosystems, for the treatment of children whose blood were contaminated with heavy metals, and for the rehabilitation of the mining structures left un-maintained in the mine site (which now pose more dangers to the lives and properties of the people) especially now that Marinduque was confirmed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau as the number one province in the country that is highly susceptible to landslides.

Similarly, the quest for justice of the people of Albay and Sorsogon fell into deaf ears and callous consciences of the people in government who vowed to uphold the Constitution, the highest law of the land which guaranteed the people’s right to a balance and safe environment. We reiterate the recommendations of the Bastes Commission, which calls on the government, among others, to impose a moratorium on mining in Rapu-rapu island, and to immediately repeal the Mining Act of 1995.

No less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, HOR Speaker Jose de Venecia, former DENR Secretary Michael Defensor and DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes, in a closed-door meeting on
March 10, 2006 with some of the Philippine Bishops, including our Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista, promised to have an immediate review of the said law. But nothing was heard of since then. Is this a mere ploy to appease the growing disappointment of the CBCP to the present administration as can be gleaned from the January 29, 2006 CBCP Pastoral Letter questioning the provisions of the said law?


Myke R. Magalang
Executive Secretary
Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns
Boac, Marinduque

5 thoughts on “Marinduquenos support Bicolanos vs mining

  1. Advocacy Campaign Case Study


    By: Eero Brillantes, CEO, Mind Bullet Inc. (


    In 2005, The Anti-Mining Advocacy Project was launched by the Philippine Misereor Partnership (PMP) . It is a large group of civil society and peoples organizations being supported by development assistance from the Germanâ€s Bishops†Conference. It was an attempt by anti-large scale mining advocates within members of PMP to share knowledge, networks, and on the ground advocacy experiences. It was likewise recognized that national synchronized activities needed to be done and for the group to establish working links with other big campaigns and foundations like the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Foundation for Philippine Environment (FPE), National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace-Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (NASSA-CBCP), and Ecology Desk-Archdiocese of Manila. I was hired to head the advocacy team for PMP.

    To me and the team, the challenge was multifaceted. The campaign comes at the heels of a resurgent and energized mining industry with the government itself doing a global marketing blitz. The Supreme Court overturned a previous decision of not allowing international mining companies to perpetuate in the country. Mining and mining applications were mushrooming all over the country.

    Armed with limited budget but lots of well meaning organizations and dedicated advocates, a strategy was mapped out to put the brakes on large scale mining and bring groups to the negotiating table.


    The end game was two pronged. First was to get support from Philippine Bishops to come out with a statement critical of the unabated large scale mining in the country. Second was to leverage the support of Bishops so that the government will engage in dialogue and hopefully concrete commitments are solicited.


    To trigger the campaign, an anti-mining road show was implemented. Two compelling videos entitled Sa Ngalan ng Mina (In the Name of Mining) were produced and distributed to all campaign members and affected communities. A photo exhibit was also distributed along with the videos. Highlighting these visual presentations were the celebrated anti-mining struggles of communities in Didipio, Nueva Viscaya, Mt. Canatuan in Zamboanga Del Norte, and Rapu Rapu Island in Bicol. (The anti-mining videos and photo exhibit were done by award winning video film maker Geraldine Torres-Brillantes).


    Representatives of affected communities, especially the indigenous peoples, went on a national media blitz to drum up support for the campaign.

    Tactical awareness and mobilization activities at the level of affected areas in around 78 provinces were done through out the year.

    Support from Metro Manila came from Catholic Schools with strong environmental protection advocacies.

    The roadshow went on for about a year. By that time, community level opposition was already gaining critical mass in many areas. Through the combined efforts of PMP, ATM, like minded groups, and affected communities themselves, the stage was set to put into motion the demand for a dialogue with government.


    The PMP campaign staff sought the assistance of NASSA-CBCP, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and also a member of the PMP, to spearhead the dialogue efforts.

    By that time, the CBCP through a pastoral statement reiterated its call for the care for environment and for government and mining companies to become accountable for the destruction of communities with large scale mining activities.

    In March 10, 2006, at the Traders Hotel in Manila, NASSA-CBCP conducted a National Mining Forum, attended by social action directors and staff representing many of the affected communities. It was also during that forum that an important side meeting was scheduled. A selected delegation of Philippine Bishops met with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Speaker Jose De Venecia, along with some cabinet secretaries. Incidentally, March 10 also marked the anniversary of the passage of the Philippine Mining Act.

    The dialogue resulted in the following:

    1. A review by the legislature of the Mining Act of 1995
    2. Creation of the Bastes commission to review and recommend courses of action on the issue of fishkills and pollution done by Lafayette Mining in Rapu Rapu island, Bicol.
    3. Direct assistance to communities affected adversely by large scale mining.


    As of this writing, the enforcement of the agreements are being done through the Office of the President and the NASSA-CBCP. In turn, NASSA-CBCP updates the PMP and other campaign stakeholders. While this constitutes a very important track, other campaigns and initiatives are ongoing at the international, national, and community levels. The struggles of affected communities continue.

  2. Mong: Halatang-halata kung nakaninong panig ang pamahalaan.

    Horse_whisperer: Tama ka. Yun nga lang, sa karanasan at kasaysayan, ika nga, kadalasa’y di nakabuti sa atin ang mga minahan dito.

  3. mining activities per se are not bad. wat’s bad are people who cant commit to follow the guidelines made by authorities.

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