MAC: Mines and Communities

Environmental Groups blast Lafayette and DENR for Test-Run Extension Plans

Published by MAC on 2006-09-08

Environmental Groups blast Lafayette and DENR for Test-Run Extension Plans

Defend Patrimony Press Release

8th September 2006

Various groups allied with the Defend Patrimony!, a nationwide alliance against mining liberalization and calling for the defense of our national patrimony, raised howls of protest over plans of Lafayette Philippines, Inc. and DENR to extend the 30-day test run.

"This is already adding insult to injury! The DENR would be self-destructing if it continues to allow the 60-day extension of the Test Run," warned Frances Quimpo, Center for Environmental Concerns, Inc (CEC). "In the first place, the 30 day test run is already a big anomaly. The DENR knows that it is not the answer to the big questions around acid mine drainage (AMD) or containment of mine wastes issues of the Rapurapu project, Quimpo added.

AGHAM spokesperson Ricarido Saturay, Jr, challenged, "Why give this recidivist mining company special treatment? If Lafayette's structures and operations are already so good why should DENR not just require a truly independent environmental impact study (EIS) of the Rapurapu project and have it secure a fresh environmental compliance certificate (ECC)."

"What is this -- another chance again?! How low should our government agencies bend for these mining transnational corporations? Lafayette is not even bringing in fresh money. It is only operating on hedge funds, how much taxes can government stand to gain out of such operations," Ester Perez de Tagle, spokesperson of Concerned Citizens against Pollution (COCAP).

"The image of Lafayette as an irresponsible miner has already been so ingrained on the people. While it had not remedied the questions around "anomalies and shortcomings in its fulfillment of its social acceptability requirement," it went so far as to blame the local folks for the fresh round of fish kill Lafayette itself caused last July -- right in the middle of this crazy test run," lamented Fr. Ino Buguisan.

"This is too much. When will the DENR listen to the people? We like to remind the DENR that it still has to repair its own image for its lapses in ensuring protection of our environment and our people since Lafayette operated last year. If it will continue allowing Lafayette to operate then we will definitely hold Secretary Reyes, Director Ramos and Chief Cabalda accountable for future accidents in the island. We maintain our stand to have Lafayette closed down," said Antonio Casetas, head servant of Sagip Isla Sagip Kapwa, Inc.


Frances Quimpo, 9248756, 9209099, 09178513296

Trixie Concepcion, 9266636, 9263139, 09158507394

c/o Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St.
Bgy, Central, Quezon City,
Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756
Fax No. +63-2-9209099

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