Green group marches to Mendiola, holds PNoy accountable for mining disasters

ATM Press Release
Date of publication: 
17 September, 2015

INTEGRIDAD NG TAO AT EKOLOHIYA IPAGLABAN, GANID NG PANDAIGDIGANG INDUSTRIYA NG MINA WAKASAN! PNoy panagutin sa mga disgrasya, pagpaslang at panlilinlang na dulot ng pagmimina!”

After two-consecutive days of public actions slamming large-scale mining operations in the Philippines and highlighting the call for ecological integrity, environmental group Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) headed to Mendiola to demand accountability from the Aquino administration for its alleged inactions to the injustices brought by mining in the country.

Environmental advocates performed a die-in near Mendiola bridge and used their bodies to spell-out “NO TO MINING” while other participants held up posters reiterating the group’s calls to stop large-scale mining operations in the Philippines.

The activity is part of ATM’s week-long action to challenge the global mining industry by supporting the call of Laudato Si for ecological integrity and challenge the globalization of the mining industry.

“We hold the Aquino government accountable for its inaction—for the mining disasters, human rights violations and deaths, and the many negative impacts of mining.” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM.

“These inactions have led to unresolved pressing issues that continue to haunt the everyday lives of anti-mining advocates all over the Philippines.” he added.

According to the group, 28 environmental activists including three (3) children have been victims of mining-related killings in the Aquino administration alone. All killings up to this date remain to be unresolved.

“People are literally dying to protect their lands against the mining companies which want to savage their environment. Most of these people are from the Indigenous groups, one of the most vulnerable sectors here in our country.” Garganera said.

“It such a shame that those who are fighting for the integrity of creation are the ones who are being hunted down. It is downright wrong that those who are fighting for ecological integrity are the ones who are living in fear of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.” he added.

Aside from the unresolved cases of killings, ATM also lambasted the government’s lack of action in the rehabilitation of damages caused by mining.

To date, there are 800 abandoned mines in the Philippines that simply fell into disrepair and neglect.

Mining tragedies, such as the 1996 Maguila-guila Dam disaster also remain to be unresolved. 21 years after the calamity, affected communities are still struggling for justice.

Currently, a case instituted by the affected residences of Baranggay Magpua and Bocboc in the RTC Branch 38 is being heard as local organizations continue to seek justice for the destruction brought by the collapsed of Maguila-guila Dam.

Anti-mining communities have also experienced reversal of victories in the Aquino administration’s last year.

Reversals of anti-mining victories include the reinstatement of INTEX’s Environmental Compliance Cerificate (ECC), NCIP regions XI and XII’s complete disregard of anti-mining communities in Tampakan for non-Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) coverage, the lifting of suspension orders of four mining companies in Zambales(also read Envi groups oppose resumption of Benguet Corp. operation in Zambales), the non-compliance of Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. (MMDC) of their Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) in Surigao del Sur, the resumption of hauling activities of Hinatuan Mining Corporation in Manikani, Eastern Samar, and the expansion of Oceanagold Philippines (OGPI) in Nueva Viscaya despite the communities’ lack of consent.

ATM also strongly opposed the government’s claims that mining has played a big role in the country’s economic development as the group claims that most mining-host communities have the highest and most consistent poverty rates. (

“The Aquino administration has done almost nothing to alleviate the worsening situation of the environment and the mining-affected communities.” said Garganera.

“Even Executive Order 79 (EO79), the highlight of the administration’s contribution to the Philippine mining situation proves to lack substance and efficiency with its glaring gaps in ensuring environmental and ecological protection and preservation and upholding human rights.” he added.

For the group’s final call for the activity, ATM demanded that the Aquino administration put a moratorium on all extractive activities until a more efficient mining law has been established.

Alyansa Tigil Mina also called for the SCRAP of RA7942 also known as the Mining Act of 1995 and the ENACTMENT of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill—a new minerals management law that prioritizes the protection, conservation and proper utilization of mineral resources.

AlyansaTigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of POs and and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.