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Just to be clear, I am not against mining. If it will help to improve the lives of our people, then I am for it. However, I believe that our mining laws give too much power to mining companies at the expense of people who live in remote communities. More often than not, those people are our indigenous brothers and sisters. So, as in the past, we are the sacrificial lambs that the powers-that-be offer before their ill conceived altar “development”.
Now, there are laws meant to protect the interest of people in communities being eyed by mining interests. For instance, these people have to be consulted and they must consent to the entry of mining companies in their area.
However, mining companies have exploited or skirted this provision. In some places in Mindanao, they established fake datus and fake council of elders who supposedly approved their mining proposal. I also heard of one instance where a mining firm transplanted people from one area to another and claimed that it got the “community people’s” consent despite the opposition of those who really live in that place.
More often than not, mining companies need not transplant people to show proof that people okayed their activities. All they have to do is sow division among the people. So you will have a pro-mining group going against an anti-mining group. The above video of what’s going on in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya is an example of how a mining company has succeeded in dividing the community.
Reports state that this mining firm, the Royalco Resources Ltd, has temporarily stopped operations because of the incident documented in the video. Don’t let that fool you though. I’m sure they are planning a comeback when things quiet down a bit.
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