By ANDREA GUERRERO
Armando Sumayang Jr. Command
NPA Southwest Negros Guerrilla Front 2, Negros Island
Big foreign Mining corporations have no place in Negros island. Land to till and not mines is what is needed by the people in the “kaigangan” (swidden farms), coffee, coconut, sugar, corn and rice land areas.
This is the militant demand of the people in Southwest Negros who were victimized by the giant mines of Maricalum Mining Corporations and Philex Mining Corp and victims of the Oplan Thunderbolt of the former Cory Aquino Regime.
Through the “Pilipinas for Sale” slogan under the Public-Private Partnership Program (4Ps) of the US-Aquino Regime 2 which is deceitful and divisive, and under the liberalization program promoting destructive mining, the said areas and people are now open to intensified exploitation by the foreign mining corporations.
According to the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau, five (5) mining applications have been approved last 25 November 2010. These are the Philex Gold Phils., Maricalum Mining Corp.,Selenga Mining Corp. (formerly Colet Mining Corp.), Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corp., San Dominico Minerals and Industrial Corp. that has a total of 10,648 hectares of agricultural land. There are also 12,025 hectares approved for exploration permit which are the Carles and Cauayan Mining Corp to be operated by the Philex Mining Corp, San Dominico Mineral and Industrial Corp and Philex Gold Phils. & Bulawan Mining Corp. These are all in the areas of Hinobaan, Sipalay, Cauayan, Candoni and Kabankalan City.
Besides these there are nine (9) mines that have pending application that covers 19,468 hectares covering Hinobaan, Sipalay, Cauayan, Ilog and Bayawan. Another 12 is on the waiting list for exploration permit that covers 38,024 hectares. There are three (3) Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) that cover 75,544 hectares (Eagle Cement, Royal cement Corp and Hinobaan Holdings Inc).
Still not contented in destroying the forests and the environment, there are 29,097 hectares of Offshore Mining that will obtain magnetite in the shorelines and rivers of Sipalay City, Hinobaan and Cauayan.
All in all there are 189,953 hectares or roughly 73% of the total 257,150 hectares land area of Southwest Negros open for mining for the giant foreign corporations. What will happen now to the 450,000 populaton of the south district especially the peasants and the fishermen?
As the greedy public officials jump for joy led by Alvarez, Montilla, Bilbao, Tabujara, Zayco and Manzano for the entry of these parasitic mining companies, the hungry peasants and fishermen cry as their land and livelihood are being grabbed and eradicated. As the profit-hungry foreign and local mining corporations harvest in abundance the gold, copper and silver, and fill their coffers with mining incomes, the people have to content themselves with “bisul” from the “kaigangan”, face the bullets of the butcher security guards in order to get a piece of scrap iron and some ores to sell in order to buy rice and salt. Worse, they are also victimized by fake buyers of scrap and ores.
The statements of Maranon-Alvarez are tainted with lies that the people want these mining corporations. The statement of Oscar Montilla of Sipalay City that these mines help the people is also untrue. This is a big insult to the morality and wisdom of the peasants and fishermen who were witnesses to the damages created by the mines.
Maybe these public officials forgot the fish kill in Brgy Nauhang, Brgy 2 and 5 in Sipalay City last 1996 because of the intentional release of toxic waste from the tailing ponds of Philex Mining Corp and the epidemic of skin allergies; 1,545 hectares of agricultural land in Brgy San Jose and Gil Montilla in Sipalay City are now useless because of the collapse of the tailings dam of MMC last 1982, 1983 and `1996; the contamination of the rivers of Sipalay and Hinobaan of lead, cadmium, zinc and cyanide (according to DOH) and the death of the Tau-angan River that was made as a toxic garbage dump by MMC, the extinction of the Mantuboy Creek, the high 3.2 acidity of the Sipalay River tributary that is being used by the peasants as a source for irrigation, the denudation of the forest resulting to just 3% remains, 100 persons killed by the security guards of MMC, and the failure to pay of MMC and Philex to their retrenched workers.
Just imagine the more than 158 families in 1400 hectares and the 234 families in 1,976 hectares in Sipalay City and Cauayan’s agricultural area that will lost their means of livelihood because of the mining operations of Philex. More will be affected.
How many times that the NPA was able to talk to the management of these foreign mines and we are are again reminding them that they will have to pay for the damages and destruction they have brought upon the people.
As fighters for the people, the New People’s Army (NPA) is committed to answer the demands of the people to dismantle and boot out these greedy foreign mining corporations. Through our continuous organizing and immersion with masses of the people, we will punish and eradicate these destroyers of our environment and livelihood.
To the local governments of the 6th District, if you are truly for the people, we challenge you to stand up and take steps to fight and banish these mines.
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