MAC: Mines and Communities

Joint Statement On The Sc Reversal On The Mining Act Of 1995

Published by MAC on 2004-12-06
Source: Kalikasan-PNE et al ()

Joint Statement on the SC Reversal on the Mining Act of 1995

Joint Press Statement

December 6, 2004

Justice cannot be served through deceptions. Even more is justice inconceivable when what is branded as an act of justice will bring about further injustices.

This clearly is what the Supreme Court has done when it shed its independent image and kowtowed to Malacanang and the mining local and transnational corporations or TNCs, in its recent most shameful decision.

We strongly condemn the Supreme Court's reversal of its ruling which declared as unconstitutional the provisions of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 that allow 100% foreign-owned corporations to explore, develop, exploit and use the country's mineral resources.

Even as the country's highest court of justice now rules that the law, R.A. 7942, is constitutional, this does not make it just. Decades of foreign plunder of the country's resources have brought our country nowhere but massive displacement of communities and devastation of our environment.

"Justice for All . for the Present and the Future," declares the Supreme Court decision. Yet its message rings hollow. It is as hollow as the weak and deceptive logic that runs throughout the decision ofn this unfounded and unreal declaration.

No, the people, much less the entire Filipino nation, present and future will not benefit from the historical and present injustice foisted by the latest Supreme Court ruling. The ruling can never be for the "greater good of the greatest number," as the Supreme Court said.

For more verily, the stark truth remains: Philippine mining operates under the sponsorship of mining TNCs for and only for their interest of amassing profits. And opening the whole country for the complete and unhindered exploitation and greed of mining TNCs, fully foreign-owned corporations, can only bring about greater damnation for the greatest number of our people. Not to mention that the Supreme Court decision brashly sidesteps the issue of sovereignty which it ironically sought to uphold in its earlier decision.

History has already given us an overwhelming proof of how Philippine mining, as presently constituted, operates with impunity against our political and economic sovereignty, our environmental security, and even against the human rights of the greater and increasing number of our people, especially our national minorities.

We are witnesses to how the mining industry has never taken off (and never will), as it reduces our sovereignty into a sham. Philippine mining is stunted not by people's anti-mining protests, but because it has been confined as an extractive industry serving export-oriented designs of globalization oligarchs, namely the TNCs in the world economy.

Unless we have a government which can see our mineral potentials beyond the export revenues they can bring, see them for their real worth in developing and industrializing our nation, as government truly respects and honors the people's rights and cares for the environment, only then, can this prolonged and painful struggle rest.

We have seen graphically in Marinduque how an arrogant mining TNC in the name of Marcopper-Placer Dome has almost reduced half the island into a wasteland and yet Marinduque's people are still among the most poverty-stricken Filipinos who are slowly dying because of still-highly toxic poisons left behind by unregulated mining operations.

Mining TNCs also continue to displace thousands to tens and hundreds of thousands of indigenous and peasant settler populations in the hinterlands, with countless cases of human rights violations and militarization.

The Supreme Court, as well as the Arroyo administration, picked an inauspicious period to bring down a most condemnable decision on the eve of the International Human Rights Week. The Supreme Court decision may have given a freer rein to the administration's illusions of revitalizing a moribund industry, but it will also revitalize human rights violations against the entire Filipino nation and people. It can veritably be the single most glaring human rights violation committed by the Arroyo administration.

On Monday, at the start of the human rights week, we, along with more number of our people, troop to the Supreme Court in protest over its unjust decision. It shall be the start of more intensified protest actions against the Mining Act and the treasonous mining agenda of the Arroyo administration.

Signed

KALIKASAN-People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR)
Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC)
Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP)
Save the Abra Movement (STARM)
Samahan ng Nagtataguyod ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Sambayanan (AGHAM)
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
TABAK
KATRIBU

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