Manitoba statement on the Global Day of Action against Open-pit Mining

The following statement by Bayan Canada organizations in Winnipeg, Manitoba was read out during a rally for the global day of action against open-pit mining on July 22, 2009 in Toronto, Canada

Statement on the Global Day of Action against Open-pit Mining

22 July 2009

Warm greetings from Damayan Manitoba and Bayan Manitoba Organizing Committee!

Since the enactment of the Republic Act 7942, or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, large-scale operations by transnational mining corporations (mining TNCs) have proliferated all over the country. These mining TNCs slowly cover the whole archipelago with their mining projects and plunder the country’s mineral resources in order to rake in billions of dollars in profit.

The Philippines is considered to be “potentially the world's fifth-biggest mineral producer in the world”, with around 24 medium to large-scale metallic mines operations all over the country. (Photo by Alex Felipe reveals environmental destruction caused by Canadian-owned Marcopper on Marinduque Island. More at Alex's excellent website - http://alexfelipe.com/tag/mining/)

As of January 2008, there were 294 mining agreements in existence, consisting of two Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs), 262 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) and 30 Exploration Permits (EP).

Among the giant foreign mining companies in the Philippines who rake in millions of dollar of profit every year are Canadian-owned companies. One of these is the Canadian-owned mining firm TVI Pacific Inc., who reportedly gained 67.3% increase in income in the first quarter of 2007.

As we celebrate the “Global Day of Action against Open-pit Mining”, Damayan Manitoba and Bayan Manitoba Organizing Committee join all other progressive groups and individuals who are involved in anti-imperialist mining campaigns and human rights and environmental defense struggles throughout the world.

We urge the Philippine government to scrap the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, cancel the mining applications and revoke the mining permits of big capitalist corporations, both foreign and local.

We denounce the Supreme Court’s reversal of its own decision on the constitutionality of provisions in the Mining Act of 1995 regarding Financial or Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA) between foreign mining corporations and the state.

We demand that these big foreign and local mining companies should be held liable for the severe environmental degradation and should indemnify all affected communities who are suffering from the long-term effects of pollution and contamination.

We strongly denounce the intensified mining operations, militarization and human rights violations targeting mining-affected communities and anti-mining activists in the Philippines and around the world.

We call for an end to all bombings and shelling, the firing of cannons within communities, illegal searches of houses, and the use by the military of schools, medical, religious and other public places, as well as private residences, and other human rights violations committed by government troops in the said areas.

We assert that the natural resources of the country should be used for the well being of the people, not for the profit of foreign capitalists and their local partners within and outside the government.

We affirm our stand that capitalist mining will not solve the country’s financial crisis and will not result in improved human development among the people.

We enjoin everyone to remain vigilant in guarding and defending our lands, and that we will employ all possible means to prevent the destruction of our territories by large capitalist mining.

Scrap the Philippine Mining Act of 1995!
Stop the liberalization of the Philippine mining industry!
Defend the land and patrimony of the people against imperialist mining!
Assert the genuine recognition of the indigenous peoples collective rights over their land and resources, and to self determination!
Stop militarization and the violation of human rights!

Jomay Amora-Mercado, member, 204-509-2491

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