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[ 13 Jul 2012 | No Comment ]

NEWS RELEASE

10 July 2012

 

Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

 


A progressive lawmaker condemned Executive Order 79 saying that it gives more room for mining companies to commit abuses against the environment and communities.  EO 79 was issued yesterday by President Benigno Aquino III allegedly to institute reforms in the mining industry.

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio said that “there is nothing new in PNoy’s ‘new mining policy’.  EO 79 maintains the same regime tried and tested by large-scale mining companies under his wing, and even improves it.”

Tinio noted that EO 79 demeans the authority of local governments over mining activities within their respective jurisdictions while it cedes vast discretion to the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC).

“In the past, LGUs served as some form of restraint against excesses of these firms.  Some heed the alarm raised by communities on the threats caused to environment and the locals by imposing moratoriums on mining activities in their respective areas.  EO 79 removes this layer of protection.”

Co-chaired by the Secretaries of Finance and Environment, MICC can convene a Task Force Illegal Mining “to properly regulate small-scale mining participants.”  Tinio predicted that MICC will target this portion of the industry that Aquino’s spokespersons have previously tagged as a “problem.”

Tinio also found disturbing MICC’s power to seek the aid of military and police in enforcing its decisions on how it interprets mining laws.  He cited the maiming and harassment of the locals of Sitio Balabag, Zamboanga del Sur where TVI Resource Development (TVIRD), a Canadian mining firm, is preparing for its open-pit gold mining operations.

Tinio disclosed that his office received leaked emails sent from May 1 to 20 between security officials of TVIRD.  The confidential emails reveal that they have been using Special CAFGU Active Auxiliaries (SCAAs) as snipers and “security guards,” planting improvised ground bombs and “protecting our area” despite any court or police order that may be issued.  TVI has also deployed against leaders, small-scale miners, and residents listed as “red” and “blue” targets several Special Surveillance Units equipped with “weapons for killing enemy combatants.”

Tinio said this impunity of mining companies will only be sustained with the implementation of EO 79

 

News »

[ 13 Jul 2012 | No Comment ]

NEWS RELEASE

13 July 2012

Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)


ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio raised the alarm on moves of Congress leaders and the President to make it appear the public wants the Constitution changed.

President Benigno Aquino has been cited to be open to different ideas on charter change, advanced by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, and “come up with what’s best for our people.”

The progressive lawmaker warns that their next step might be to claim popular support for Charter change.  In the past, the administration displayed the habit of citing questionable “successful consultations” as proof of popular support for its moves, such as the K to 12 program, indefinite postponement of the ARMM elections, and CCT doleouts.

Refuting the claim, Tinio said, “The people, especially teachers and their students, remember well the lessons of history—leaders who campaign for charter change to promote their own political and business interests.”

“The ordinary men and women on the street are aware that the causes of their poverty are precisely the interests now raised as motives for Charter change—foreign ownership of industries, dominance of profit orientation in public utilities, and priority for debt and military spending over education and other basic social services.”

Tinio also urged Enrile to leave the Constitutional provision mandating budgetary priority to education alone.

“As it is, the provision holds very little sway over political leaders beyond mere lip service,” Tinio said.  “But this is relied on by the campaign for higher state support for basic and tertiary education.”

“The national government should be more concerned with providing for weapons of mass empowerment instead of weapons of mass destruction.”