QUEZON CITY -- Following President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino’s visit to China, a group of progressive indigenous peoples Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Kamp) slams new mining contracts signed with Chinese mining corporations.
“Aquino shows no decency in his active peddling of our natural resources,” Piya Macliing Malayao, Kamp spokesperson, said. “Despite the turmoil caused by large scale transnational mining in the Philippines, Aquino continues to boast of inviting mining investments.”
Taipans escorted Aquino in his State visit to China, including 15 representatives from the mining sector.
“Amid the killings of environment activists and indigenous peoples in mining-affected communities, Aquino shamelessly parades with mining corporations. It shows that the people’s welfare and rights are non-priority,” Malayao claimed.
Kamp cites five mining-related extra-judicial slays among indigenous peoples in the past 12 months. “Extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations are rampant in mining-affected communities. These are perpetrated by the State or State-backed forces. This is consistent with the government’s obvious favor to mining corporations,” Malayao added.
Aquino’s state visit to China clinched four mining agreements, according to Chamber of Mines President Philip Romualdez. Around $14 billion of investments are reportedly from the deal with Jinchuan Group Ltd, Oriental Peninsula Resources Group Inc., and Eramen Minerals Inc. among others.
“Indigenous peoples have long been worn out by the government’s propaganda of development through foreign investments. For decades, our lands have been plundered to give way to mining projects, but we remain poor,” Malayao added.
Aquino’s long-term economic policies drawn out in the Philippine Development Plan still highlights the liberalization of key industries including mining, Kamp says.
“Aquino’s mere repackaging of policies of liberalization entail worse poverty and oppression of indigenous peoples, and of all Filipinos. In the inrush of mining corporations in our lands, we brace ourselves for the worse violations of our rights.”#