By RUBI del MUNDO
Spokesperson, NDFP Southern Mindanao
As the families of the victims of the 5 January Pantukan landslides suffer from the loss of their loved ones, the US-Aquino regime has stepped up its campaign to eventually dislocate them with the strict enforcement of the No-habitation policy and the military-aided forcible evacuation. Indeed, the Malacanang order is a face-saving measure meant to conceal the Aquino regime’s gross negligence in addressing geological disasters while filling its coffers with resources out of the blood and sweat of small-scale miners.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Southern Mindanao finds it despicable for the Aquino regime to claim concern for the safety and the lives of Pantukan residents, while allowing and making plunderous mining operations in the country its centerpiece program. Forcing small-scale miners to leave the gold and copper rich areas will pave the way for the unbridled and unhampered operations of large-scale mining firms — like Russell Mining — that are poised to take over the gold and copper-rich mountains.
Landslides and mining-related disasters have occurred time and again, with the present and past regimes always resorting to strong-arm measures toward small-scale miners, while coddling and exonerating large-scale miners of the latter’s culpability. Abject poverty borne out of feudal exploitation has forced peasants to resort to small-scale mining, no matter how risky this is for them and for their families.
The US-Aquino regime has underhandedly succumbed to the pressures of big bourgeois capitalists to scrape the bottom of the country’s mineral resources by continuing to impose the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. As it is right now, 1/3 of Philippine lands are covered with mining applications. Through the Mining Act of 1995, the Aquino regime continues to legitimize the unbridled plunder of our mining resources and the wanton destruction of our environment in the name of profit and total sell-out of our lands to multi-national, transnational and big local companies.
The revolutionary movement will continue to resist the relentless plunder of our mining resources and plunder of our economy. It is the policy of the people’s democratic government to ban all enterprises, including big foreign mining and logging firms, that engage in large-scale plunder of the natural resources, landgrabbing and destruction of the environment. Large-scale foreign mining operations have caused the siltation and poisoning of rivers, water sources and agricultural lands and other grave destruction of our natural environment.
(Sgd.) Rubi del Mundo
Southern Mindanao Region
National Democratic Front of the Philippines