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Oppose the continuing onslaught on the earth

Posted By: Chris Costuya On:


“I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce.
But you came and defiled my land and you made my inheritance detestable.”
(Jeremiah 2:7)

WE, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF), express alarm over the wanton abuse of natural resources by the Transnational Mining Corporations (TNCs) with their local cohorts in South Luzon Region, especially in Bicol. The experience of the Bicolano people is no different from the plight of local communities in mining areas throughout the country: massive environmental destruction, shrinking economic base of the people, militarization of mining communities, displacement of communities due to land-grabbing and unjust land-conversion, gross human rights violations, destruction of flora and fauna, and further impoverishment of the country. The unresolved and ever continuing polymetallic mining operations in Rapu-Rapu Island, Albay, Labo, Paracale, and Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, the aggressive mine expansion in Aroroy, Masbate by Filminera Resources Corp., the peculiar magnetite off-shore mining in Camarines Sur by Bogo Mining Resources Corp; the Palanog Cement Plant in Albay, Panganiban and San Andres, Catanduanes, and the deeper quagmire of maldevelopment of mining in Matnog, Sorsogon challenge us to rethink our role as responsible God’s stewards of creation ( Genesis 1: 26-31 ).

Destructive mining is blatantly unethical, unjust, and senseless for it exacerbates poverty, causes dislocation of livelihood of the people, and even threatens the base of life and life itself.

It is lamentable that the national government equates TNC mining with development, and is remiss in its duties in protecting the environment to the detriment of the people. It has been proven that the negative costs of mining operations far outweigh the gains.

Thus, to further liberalize the mining industry in favour of the mining
corporations as being trumpeted by the Aquino administration will mean more suffering and death, dislocation, displacement and ruin of the environment.

Hence we call on the Filipino people:
1. To oppose all destructive mining operations, both locally or foreign-owned;
2. To scrap the Mining Act of 1995;
3. to demand immediate moratorium of large scale mining
4. to demand the demilitarization of mining communities
5. To fight for justice and integrity of creation;
6. To pass the HB 4315 or the Peoples’ Mining Bill

We urge our churches and faith-based groups and institutions to pursue organizing, awareness building, and other relevant activities, and be in full solidarity with the people’s movement against destructive mining operations.

With the liberating power of the Holy Spirit, we seek strength and wisdom to carry this task of asserting the right of the earth to survive and all that dwell therein.

Signed:

Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr., D.D.
Co-chairperson
Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF)

Bishop Elmer M. Bolocon
Executive Secretary, EBF

Most Rev. Joel Z. Baylon, D.D.
Bishop, Diocese of Legazpi

Bishop Arturo R. Asi
Bishop, South Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Most Rev. Arthur Bastes, D.D.
Bishop, Diocese of Sorsogon

The Right Rev. Ronelio V. Fabriquer
Diocese of Romblon
Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Bishop Gabriel A. Garol
United Church of Christ in the Philippines
Iglesia Filipina Independiente

The Right Revd. Joselito T. Cruz
General Secretary
Iglesia Filipina Independiente

The Right Revd. Pedro Ojascastro
Diocese of Cavite
Iglesia Filipina Independiente

 


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