MAC/20: Mines and Communities

SCIENTISTS ON DENR DECISION TO RE-OPEN LAFAYETTE: UNSCIENTIFIC, UNSOUND AND ILLOGICAL

Published by MAC on 2006-06-16

SCIENTISTS ON DENR DECISION TO RE-OPEN LAFAYETTE: UNSCIENTIFIC, UNSOUND AND ILLOGICAL

16th June 2006

AGHAM PRESS RELEASE

According to its very own summary of findings, the DENR found that: a) The mine spills in Rapu-rapu were preventable; b) Lafayette was guilty of lapses; c) Lafayette does not measure up to standards of a responsible miner; d) The DENR failed to adequately monitor the Rapu-Rapu operations; and e) The sharing of benefits from the mining operations is grossly unfavorable to the Philippine government

Despite such negative findings, the DENR makes the illogical decision of allowing a 30-day test-run of mining in Rapu-rapu Island.

"It is a brazen example of how unscientific and illogical our government can be" according to activists scientists from AGHAM (Advocates of Science and Technology for the People).

"How can Malacañang and Secretary Angelo Reyes reach a decision to allow Lafayette to operate when they themselves, from their very own findings, have pointed out long-term and substantial defects in LPI's operation?", asks Dr. Giovanni Tapang, National Chairperson of AGHAM.

"Clearly the decision to allow the resumption of mining was not based on the technical findings of the Bastes Commission which was concurred to by many experts from different scientific disciplines.The decision to allow the resumption of mining in the Island was a result of political kowtowing to foreign interests and ignoring the clear and comprehensive scientific evidence from the Commission", adds Dr. Tapang.

"If the decision-making process in government was trully scientific and democratic, Lafayette Philippines Inc., would not be allowed to operate", says Ricarido Saturay, Jr. geologist at the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences and AGHAM member. "This kind of unscientific policy making is what lowers the morale of scientists who are frustrated over unsound decision making process of the national government which often ignore scientific evidences that do not conform with its political agenda.

"Given the Marinduque mine spill of ten years ago, it is our conclusion that when it is the interest of the many versus the interest of a few foreign corporations like Lafayette or Marcopper, the government almost always sides with the foreign plunderers", conlcudes Saturay.

"For us, the decision to allow Lafayette Philippines to operate is a lose-lose solution for the people. This unscientific, unsound and illogical reasoning allows for the continued destruction and plunder of our environment to the detriment of local peoples and the entire country", declared Dr. Tapang

REFERENCES:
1. Ricarido Saturay, Jr.,09279556940/rmsaturay@agham.org
2. Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D., 09158507307/gtapang@agham.org

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