Echoing dissent on mining

Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio told Mindanao lawyers to help prevent foreigners from further exploiting the country’s mineral resources at the expense of the environment, the government and the Filipino people.

In his keynote speech before participants of the Mindanao regional convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines here from Nov. 21 to 23, Carpio said lawyers of the past have failed to protect the forests from logging companies, so the present crop of lawyers should not make the same mistake when it comes to mining.

Carpio voiced out the dissenting opinion in the 2005 Supreme Court decision on La Bugal-B’laan v. Ramos case that declared with finality the constitutionality of the 1995 Philippine Mining Act. Read the rest of the reporton


About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

2 responses to “Echoing dissent on mining”

  1. ROMEO HEK says :


    Protecting Mindanao from the onslaught of mining applications must be our highest priority. As of 2005, 2.7 million hectares (out of 10M has of the island) is under mining applications. refer to mgb data for regions 9, 10,11, 12, 13, the figures are truly shocking. if i may make predictions here, 10 years from now, there will be major calamities such as tailings dam collapsed, widespread contamination of mercury in mindanao seas (studies already showed higher than tolerable limits), undermining people’s rights, harassment and deceit, violation of contracts between contracting parties (companies and communities).

    The sad thing is the government still doing nothing.

    if it is difficult for us to put a stop to the country’s mining, high time for us mindanao to make a move which would cut the control of national government to us and let ourselves governed this island and manage well. after all, we are separated from them by islands.

    it’s hurting but im inclined to have high autonomy for mindanao to define its own direction.

  2. Meg Gayod says :

    Advocacy Campaign Case Study


    By: Eero Brillantes, CEO, Mind Bullet Inc.


    In 2005, The Anti-Mining Advocacy Project was launched by the Philippine Misereor Partnership (PMP) . It is a large group of civil society and peoples organizations being supported by development assistance from the German’s Bishops’ Conference. It was an attempt by anti-large scale mining advocates within members of PMP to share knowledge, networks, and on the ground advocacy experiences. It was likewise recognized that national synchronized activities needed to be done and for the group to establish working links with other big campaigns and foundations like the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Foundation for Philippine Environment (FPE), National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace-Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (NASSA-CBCP), and Ecology Desk-Archdiocese of Manila. I was hired to head the advocacy team for PMP.

    To me and the team, the challenge was multifaceted. The campaign comes at the heels of a resurgent and energized mining industry with the government itself doing a global marketing blitz. The Supreme Court overturned a previous decision of not allowing international mining companies to perpetuate in the country. Mining and mining applications were mushrooming all over the country.

    Armed with limited budget but lots of well meaning organizations and dedicated advocates, a strategy was mapped out to put the brakes on large scale mining and bring groups to the negotiating table.


    The end game was two pronged. First was to get support from Philippine Bishops to come out with a statement critical of the unabated large scale mining in the country. Second was to leverage the support of Bishops so that the government will engage in dialogue and hopefully concrete commitments are solicited.


    To trigger the campaign, an anti-mining road show was implemented. Two compelling videos entitled Sa Ngalan ng Mina (In the Name of Mining) were produced and distributed to all campaign members and affected communities. A photo exhibit was also distributed along with the videos. Highlighting these visual presentations were the celebrated anti-mining struggles of communities in Didipio, Nueva Viscaya, Mt. Canatuan in Zamboanga Del Norte, and Rapu Rapu Island in Bicol. (The anti-mining videos and photo exhibit were done by award winning video film maker Geraldine Torres-Brillantes).


    Representatives of affected communities, especially the indigenous peoples, went on a national media blitz to drum up support for the campaign.

    Tactical awareness and mobilization activities at the level of affected areas in around 78 provinces were done through out the year.

    Support from Metro Manila came from Catholic Schools with strong environmental protection advocacies.

    The roadshow went on for about a year. By that time, community level opposition was already gaining critical mass in many areas. Through the combined efforts of PMP, ATM, like minded groups, and affected communities themselves, the stage was set to put into motion the demand for a dialogue with government.


    The PMP campaign staff sought the assistance of NASSA-CBCP, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and also a member of the PMP, to spearhead the dialogue efforts.

    By that time, the CBCP through a pastoral statement reiterated its call for the care for environment and for government and mining companies to become accountable for the destruction of communities with large scale mining activities.

    In March 10, 2006, at the Traders Hotel in Manila, NASSA-CBCP conducted a National Mining Forum, attended by social action directors and staff representing many of the affected communities. It was also during that forum that an important side meeting was scheduled. A selected delegation of Philippine Bishops met with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Speaker Jose De Venecia, along with some cabinet secretaries. Incidentally, March 10 also marked the anniversary of the passage of the Philippine Mining Act.

    The dialogue resulted in the following:

    1. A review by the legislature of the Mining Act of 1995
    2. Creation of the Bastes commission to review and recommend courses of action on the issue of fishkills and pollution done by Lafayette Mining in Rapu Rapu island, Bicol.
    3. Direct assistance to communities affected adversely by large scale mining.


    As of this writing, the enforcement of the agreements are being done through the Office of the President and the NASSA-CBCP. In turn, NASSA-CBCP updates the PMP and other campaign stakeholders. While this constitutes a very important track, other campaigns and initiatives are ongoing at the international, national, and community levels. The struggles of affected communities continue.

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