MANILA, Nov. 8, 2011— The behavior that President Aquino is showing when it comes to mining appears to be “contrary” to his pronouncement that the people are his boss, an Irish Catholic missionary in the Philippines said.
Despite the massive destruction that mining afflicts the environment, Father Archie Casey of the Xaverian Missionaries (SX) said that Aquino remains to be in favor of it.
The priest said he made the assumption because the President has continuously neglected the call made by the Catholic Church and several non-government organizations to stop mining operations in the country.
“The Church has been calling for a moratorium on mining. There is no moratorium… We support, 100 percent, the CBCP call for a moratorium on mining in the Philippines,” he said.
Casey is the coordinator of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP).
He added that several environmental organizations and even faith leaders have demanded for the government to reject mining in the country but the government instead welcomed more mining projects.
“That call has been made in 2006 and it’s already 2011… and the administration is not listening to the Church, to the religious and it’s definitely not listening to the people,” he said.
To recall, the Catholic bishops’ hierarchy had long been calling for the abolition of the Mining Act of 1995, recall all approved mining concessions and cancel pending application.
The bishops said that the guaranteed economic benefits of mining are outweighed by dislocation of communities, the risks to health and livelihood, and massive environmental damage and the loss of mining resources to giant foreign companies.
Casey said that among the current mining operations they are opposing are those in South Cotabato and Zamboanga del Norte. [CBCPNews]