20 November 2018

The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) urges the immediate implementation of the long-delayed closure and suspension orders against 12 mining projects recently affirmed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

We welcome DENR’s decision that came after almost two years of drawn-out uncertainty as an affirmation of the independent investigation and vigilant resistance of communities and social movements to these big mines. The Duterte government should immediately crack down on these mines and hasten the investigation of the 15 other large-scale mines that still has no decision.

The legal loophole that allows companies to appeal before the Office of the President, however, remains a business-as-usual scenario that we are deeply concerned over. We must remain vigilant if this leads to the same scenario almost two years ago when other big mines went straight to Duterte’s office and went home with stay orders against their closure and suspension orders.

The Duterte government must work towards developing a stronger case against these big mines to stop them from jockeying the legal process. The findings are likely just the tip of the iceberg. Full-blown scientific investigations and democratic consultations must be done in cooperation with the communities and environmental movements in these areas with proven mining violations.

The recent DENR affirmation has to feed in to the current mining problems of militarization, environmental destruction, and resource plunder we are facing. The Duterte government’s actions on mining has to start becoming actually relevant to the frontlines confronting these long-standing mining crises.#

Leon Dulce,
National Coordinator
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment