The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces join the Filipino people in denouncing Rodrigo Duterte for ordering yesterday the lifting of the moratorium on new mining agreements.
Allowing new mining agreements to be forged under Executive Order No. 130 will pave the way for more massive plunder and siphoning off of Philippine natural wealth by big foreign companies. By issuing EO 130, Duterte is serving the interests of Chinese and American big capitalists who are drooling over the country’s mineral resources in their drive to outcompete each other in infrastructure building and production of semiconductors, new type of batteries and other commodities.
Foreign mining operations are outright robbery of the country’s wealth. Our country’s gold, nickel, magnetite, copper and other minerals are taken away by foreign capitalists in exchange for a paltry amount of royalties and taxes, and bribe money for the big bureaucrat capitalists. There is widespread smuggling of minerals as the country’s soil is literally scraped off the earth and brought to China and other countries.
The much touted employment and economic benefits that mining operations supposedly brings is overrated, as mining companies create only a minimal number of jobs and contribute a miniscule amount of value to the Philippine economy, relative to the large amount of wealth it extracts from our land.
Duterte and his IMF/WB-trained managers are more interested in helping foreign industries, than in developing the capacity of the local economy to produce wealth. Instead of building the country’s own national industries to process its own mineral resources and produce machines and other capital goods, and create a vastly greater number of jobs, they merely want the country’s wealth to be sucked out by foreign big capitalists to feed their own industries and generate employment for their own people.
Opening the country to more large-scale mining operations will only lead to greater environmental destruction and calamities, including floods and landslides and make the people prone to even worse disasters and devastation of their lives and livelihood.
To promote the entry of more mining companies, the Duterte regime will surely resort to bloodier suppression of the peasant masses and minority people to drive them away from their productive agricultural and ancestral lands. Even now, the AFP imposes garrison-type control of rural villages near mining sites to restrict the rights of people.
In La Paz, Agusan del Sur, relentless military operations are being carried out by the 60th IB to drive the Lumad people away from their communities in Mt. Kinambaihan, a prospect for foreign mining operations. In Loreto town, public funds are being used to build roads going to Mt. Diamond, another target for large scale mining. Lumad communities are being dragged to move to “housing projects” away from their ancestral land which will give foreign mining companies and plantations full access to their lands. Last April 6, these areas were subjected to heavy aerial bombardment to sow fear among the local Lumad communities.
Duterte’s order to bring in more mining companies will rouse greater resistance by peasants and Lumads across the country. It is totally just for the masses to stand up and oppose the entry of the destroyers and plunderers of the environment and their productive land.
Together with the masses of peasants and minority people, the New People’s Army (NPA) will fight more fiercely against the entry of more mining companies to help defend the environment, the economic rights and interests of the peasants and minority peoples, and the country’s national patrimony.