Group vows to strengthen ranks vs destructive mining
DAVAO CITY – The Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a coalition of mining-affected communities, denounced the Commission on Appointment’s rejection of the appointment of Gina Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
“This is a tragedy for the environment as well as for the rights and welfare of our people. Secretary Gina’s rejection is a betrayal of the people, and specifically of mining-affected communities who are protecting their lives and livelihoods by resisting destructive large-scale mining,” Jaybee Garganera, ATM national coordinator, said in a statement.
Garganera said it was pretty clear that the influential mining industry exerted efforts to block the confirmation of Lopez.
Dr. Ben Molino, ATM chairperson, said people suffering from the negative effects of mining began to see hope when the DENR under Lopez’s leadership, issued cancellation orders against 23 mining projects and suspended five other mining operations.
“But we are not disheartened, regardless of who will replace Sec. Gina, we will continue to strengthen our ranks to end destructive mining operations that is killing our people and destroying our country,” Molino said.
Garganera said the endorsement of President Duterte and the public’s clamor were no match against the lobby of the mining industry.
“Clearly our Congress does not represent the Filipino people. It only shows that politicians are still not to be trusted to think and decide beyond their self-interests,” said Garganera. SFM
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