Rody to draw up new mining law

July 24, 2017 at 16:00

Rody to draw up new mining law

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte has pitched for new legislation on mining, saying he is set to gather all stakeholders of the industry to discuss his proposal for a modified measure.

Duterte said those from the mining industry, the militants and the communists, former Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Gina Lopez and all other stakeholders would be called to attend a meeting with him at Malacañang.

“(We) have to go into – not even a compromise – we have to rearrange everything here,” the President told the more than 300 participants to the Davao Investment Conference held Friday night at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premier.

He quipped that those who would be invited to the meeting must “behave.”

The President said that he already discussed the matter with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

“I’d like to tell you frankly. We would come up with a new legislation because Bebot Alvarez, the Speaker, hates mining. And he comes from a mining town,” he said.

Alvarez hails from Pantukan, Compostela Valley.

Duterte lamented how the issue on mining has created misunderstanding among groups.

He said he supported Lopez’s stance because “…she was really an environmentalist. Medyo sumobra lang (She just went a bit overboard),” the President said.

Lopez had to leave the DENR because she was rejected by the Commission on Appointments after going on a collision course with the mining firms that her office ordered closed or suspended.

The Mining Act of 1995, Lopez said, was skewed toward the mining sector and not the people.

The past administration issued an executive order that imposed a moratorium on new mining deals pending review of the Mining Act to come up with a new law.

Duterte said he also watched broadcast journalist Ted Failon’s exposé on mining aside from the video clips shown to him by Lopez in the last few months.

“Ganito ‘yan eh. Nakikita ninyo ‘yung tailings. You saw how the siltation has affected the waters and the seas. I do not have to convince you. You were there operating and you know that the rivers are already heavily – not a river anymore, but an egress of some of the waters coming in from the mountain. It’s not a river,” the President said.

He said he is also willing to bring people to the mining town of Mt. Diwalwal in Monkayo, Compostela Valley.

“You want to cry? Well, I’ll tell you, tell me because I will arrange – just approach me after this. I’ll bring you to Diwalwal. It’s a mining town, started with a few policemen who are – the three of them are very rich now. Then, small time became big time. And, power… the mayors there, municipal mayors were all killed,. They were quarrelling because of gold, the lure of gold,” the President said.

Duterte said it would be best to bring people to Mt. Diwalwal for them to understand what is happening there.

“I was there because I was sent by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to fix the things there because there were almost daily encounters. And the Left, what they did was to place the coffins of the dead miners there because there was a collapsed mine there. And to show their protest, they lined up the coffins… across the highway and so, traffic was building up until almost the boundaries of Agusan del Sur,” he added.

He also said his tough stance on mining also breaks friendships, which people should understand because he now handles the affairs of the nation.

“Others say, the stocks are going down. I don’t care… Until I see the fellow there working in the factory, and the lands here in Mindanao green… Now, I will – beat you to it. This is a policy,” Duterte said.


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