CPP reiterates policy banning large-scale mining

Mineral-rich Red Mountain, facing the Pacific Ocean in eastern Mindanao, bears the deep scars of large-scale mining, which the government considers a major boost to the economy. At least seven companies extract thousands of tons of nickel, copper, iron, gold and other metal ore daily from this mountain range that runs from Claver, Surigao del Norte, to Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, with more expected to come in. (photo by Rommel G. Reb0llido)By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today reiterated the policy by the people's democratic government banning all enterprises, including big foreign mining and logging firms, that engage in large-scale plunder of the natural resources, landgrabbing and destruction of the environment.

The policy calls for the people's democratic government to "ban, disable and dismantle" such firms which violate the welfare and interests of the people and disregard the rules and regulations of the people's democratic government. These firms also connive with and use the fascist armed forces and paramilitary to protect their plunderous interests and fight the revolutionary forces.

"These, hostile, destructive and antipeople enterprises should, in fact, be expelled," the CPP said.

The reiteration was made by the CPP amid the uproar raised by the Philippine government over reports that big, foreign mining companies are threatening to pull out their operations in protest over increases in "taxes" being imposed by the revolutionary movement. Officials of the government negotiating panel even declared that they would take up the matter in the upcoming talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Oslo, Norway.

The CPP dismissed accusations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that the New People's Army "collects taxes" from mining companies.

"Large-scale foreign mining operations in the Philippines are among the worst abusers of the environment. Their operations cause siltation and poisoning of rivers, water sources and agricultural lands and other grave destruction of the natural environment," said the CPP.

"The large-scale foreign mining companies earn superprofits by plundering the Filipino people's natural resources, grabbing the people's land, especially the ancestral lands of national minorities, exploiting the workers and colluding with corrupt top government officials. They put up hostile private armies, and also use the regular forces as well as the paramilitary units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to secure their enterprises, suppress the mass resistance against their operations and connive in counterrevolutionary operations."

"The Filipino people are bearing the brunt of the massive environmental destruction, land grabbing, exploitation and brutal suppression perpetrated by these big mining companies," said the CPP. "That is why broad alliances of environmentalist organizations, church people, national minority rights advocates, local government units and other sectors of the people have been built in various provinces that strongly oppose the destructive operations of these big, mining companies."

"Furthermore, the people's democratic government has directed the NPA to carry out punitive actions against these mining companies to put a stop to their operations," added the CPP. "In certain circumstances, fines have been levied on these companies and turned over to the people as a form of reparation for the destruction these companies have caused and to discourage their further plunderous operations."

"To a great extent, the people's persistent political and legal struggles and building of alliances, as well as the armed actions of the NPA have combined to put pressure against these destructive big mining companies and force a number of them to stop their operations," said the CPP. "If the remaining companies do pull out, it is something for the Filipino people to celebrate."

The CPP said that if the Government of the Republic of the Philippines negotiating panel does raise their concern over the supposed imposition of "revolutionary taxation" on big mining operations in the upcoming talks, the thing that has to be settled first "is whether these big mining interests are any good at all for the benefit of the people, the economy and the country. There should be a thoroughgoing accounting of the massive destruction of the environment, the land grabbed and the superprofits earned by these companies vis-a-vis the benefits claimed by the Philippine government."

Marco Valbuena
Media Officer
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