MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Anti-mining Advocates Unite Against Pro-mining Candidates

Published by MAC on 2007-04-23
Source: Malaya

Anti-mining advocates unite against pro-mining candidates

Malaya -

23th April 2007

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) and the Philippine Misereor Partnership Anti-Mining Campaign (PMP) are standing once again at the forefront of the issue of safeguarding the environment in the upcoming local and national elections.

With the aim of campaigning against pro-mining, anti-environment candidates, ATM-PMP organized a "National Forum on Mining", held last March 21 at the Ateneo de Manila University, highlighted by the plight of youth and indigenous peoples (IP) leaders from all over the country.

Religious leaders and representatives from communities and NGO support groups who attended the event called on the Filipino voters to genuinely rethink their positions on certain candidates, especially those who are vocal and have a history of being instruments in plundering the environment.

"This forum is an educational campaign. It seeks to inform and more importantly, pinpoint national and local candidates who have been known to be pro-mining and anti-environment," said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of ATM. "We are deeply concerned with the state of Philippine environment and heed the Filipino people to listen to their conscience and vote for ecology-minded candidates," said Bishop Jose Manguiran of the Diocese of Dipolog.

The indigenous peoples and the youth share the same concern.

"The indigenous peoples know better than to support candidates who have been known to support development programs at the expense of the welfare of IPs," Salvador Dimain, president of the Maporac Aeta Organization in Cabangan, Zambales pointed out.

"We, the youth share the same sentiment. Most of us are first time voters but we will only support those who we know to champion the cause of the environment," Errol Comafay, president of Kontra-Mina, a Metro Manila and Luzon- youth and student based anti-mining coalition added.

ATM is a national coalition of NGOs, POs, church and other support groups born out of the collective concern against the impending threat of the revitalization of the mining industry in the Philippines . It is working hand-in-hand with PMP in its national anti-mining campaign.

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