22 April 2017
In observance of Earth Day, the NDFP in Mindanao renews its commitment to defend the people and the environment, which has more and more come under attack by the plunder of imperialist mining and plantation.
While it is true that the Duterte presidency has taken steps to ascertain that grossly erring mining concessions are prevented from continuing their operations in some areas in Mindanao, especially in Caraga and the Davao regions, the bigger imperialist mining companies remain in operation.
For instance, the Tag-anito Mining Corp., PGMC, SRMI and THPAL nickel processing plant in Caraga, which are responsible for the denudation of forests and pollution of shores in the two provinces of Surigao and Agusan del Norte, are still operational. Out of 40 large-scale mining nationwide, 21 of which are in Caraga. Huge mining corporations in the Davao area as well as in the Zamboanga area, such as the giant TVI Corp., continue with their operations unhampered and unabated.
In truth, what the DENR may have done was only take out the smaller competition, but allowed the bigger and more destructive mining companies to continue operating. The companies that have been prevented from operating have already maneuvered to resume their operations. Thus, the people have no guarantee that the companies that have supposedly been deprived of their licenses will not be able to resume their operations in the near future.
The Duterte administration is set to offer 8 million hectares of land for foreign palm oil plantations. The reactionary government claims that palm oil plantations have no adverse environmental impact, but its establishment and expansion in the country, especially in Mindanao, will dramatically reduce our remaining forest cover and agricultural lands. This will consequently displace millions of peasants and Lumad and deprive them of their sources of livelihood.
This further worsens an already grave situation where plantations owned by giants Dole, Del Monte and SUMIFRU and other large plantations have grabbed lands from millions of farmers and national minorities through aggressive expansion.
Thus, under this context, the NDFP in Mindanao calls upon the people to be ever vigilant, and continue to expose and oppose through militant protests the destructive effects of imperialist mining and plantations.#
(sgd) Ka Joaquin Jacinto