‘Mining firms funding destabilization plot’


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday accused some mining firms of financing what he called a “destabilization” plot against his administration.

Speaking to reporters in Malacañang, the President said mining firms, which he did not name, were funding the political opposition to undermine his government.

“Kayong mga mining [You miners], I know you are funding the opposite side. I know that some of you are giving funding to the other side to destabilize me,” Duterte said during a joint press conference with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

“If the police and military will allow it, it’s their problem,” the President added.

Duterte made the statement as he defended anew Environment Secretary Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez for ordering the closure of mining firms found to have violated mining regulations.

On Saturday, the President said he was willing to lose P70 billion in mining tax revenues, as he reiterated his support to the anti-mining position of Lopez.

Showing photos of the ill effects of destructive mining, Duterte slammed mining companies that had failed to follow regulations.

“Look at what mining does to our country. Is Gina a liar? No, I don’t [think so]. It’s difficult. [The environment was once] green. So where are the trees that God gave us? Where’s the environment that God gave us?” he said.

“How can you argue with what Gina is presenting to you—a visual thing?” he added. “We have to talk with the mining people…Explain to me bakit ganito [why].”

As he talked about the violations of mining firms, Duterte dropped the names of CitiNickel Mines and Development Corp., OceanaGold and Benguet Nickel Mines, among others.

The President also said he was considering a total mining ban “in the meantime.”

“Maybe it would be worth the while for Gina to reimpose the ban. Total [mining ban]muna tayo, tapos mag-usap [then we talk]. Dito magprangka-prangkahan tayo [Let’s be frank with each other],” he said.

Duterte said there was “no redeeming factor” for him to favor erring mining companies and give up Lopez, an environmental activist, as Environment secretary.

“What can the degradation of environment do to us? What can your P70 billion do with the government? Nothing… Give me a redeeming, something I can hang on to drop Gina. No redeeming factor,” he said.

Duterte on Friday cursed at mining firms for environmental destruction as he backed anew Lopez’s stance against illegal mining.

In his speech during the launch of People’s Television Network’s Cordillera Hub, the President said he would rather support Lopez than condone environmental abuse, even at the cost of billions of pesos in tax revenues.

“There is a law. If there is a law about mining, then mining is allowed. The problem is I saw the denuded mountains…the hole you dug has gone too deep, because it’s an open pit. If that’s the case, I have to support Lopez. And I cannot help you,” the President said, addressing himself to miners and speaking in a city whose sources of livelihood include mining.

“Let me just add that all you contribute to the country is about P70 billion in taxes. We can live without it. I would rather follow Gina…We’ll get the P70 billion somewhere else and preserve our environment,” he said.


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  1. Jovelyn Rojas on

    The cure may be more destructive than the disease, Mr. President. Just go for
    responsible mining instead.

  2. Every week some government official is saying there is destabilization plot.
    Any criticism of the government is called a destabilization plot

    Even Yasay called a destabilization plot when the CA questioned his lying about his American citizenship.

    To rally the masses support
    A government needs a enemy
    If they don’t have a real enemy, They will invent one.

  3. Mining can never end poverty. Its time that voracious politicians who don’t have the sense of satisfaction for wealth to listen to the people and do what is right, support Gina Lopez and the President.

  4. It appears that the mining industries are boosting about the 70 billion contribution to the economy every year, but do not boost about the reported smuggling of our gold to Hong Kong.
    The issue is very clear, Secretary Gina Lopez ,simply is asking safe guard our environment as you mine. why in the world that the mining companies do not understand and look for compromise to settle the issue. The Secretary has given them a poker chip that they have to understand.
    Put the rehabilitation plan in front of her, perhaps she would consider. Why everybody is acting ,like everybody wants to lynch her by the mining companies. Greed and destruction are in the people’s mind right now when it comes to our natural resources.
    The people are on the side of Secretary Gina Lopez right now and the President will not squander that .
    This will not remove off course the issue of smuggling, a crime has been committed and should be investigated.

  5. I live in Negros Island please include to close the three biggest mining firms of the island (copper mining) and other small scale illegal mining, People including children flock for a gold rush in Sipalay and Hinobaan.

  6. Esther Ysabel on

    70 billion pesos that the destructive miners are crowing about is nothing but a minuscule part of our GDP. It is not even felt by the very people in the villages where mining has been happening for a century. The mines have poisoned the drinking water, farmlands, rivers, lakes and seas for many generations. This destruction is a hundred times more than the 70 billion. The livelihood of the farmers and fishermen, the drinking water of the millions of residents is much more than 70 billion. The flooding of poisoned water in residential areas during the rainy season is another huge cost to the population which is far more than the 70 billion can ever repay. These illegal miners need to be clamped behind bars for the destruction they have caused.

  7. The president is correct in supporting Gina. The owners of the mining firms are enriching themselves at the expense of the poor people in the communities.Up to now, after decades of mining, these people continue with their hand-to-mouth existence. Meanwhile, rivers ceased to exists, water is polluted and floods are everywhere. Only a president who truly loves this country will make such a decision. And Gina to me is a hero worthy of emulation and the gratitude of the Filipino people. Enough of the yellow politicians.

  8. matinong pinoy on

    Irresponsible mining, oil exploration, and illegal logging without reforestation program in place, are the main reason why our country’s environment is deteriorating. Long live President Duterte and Gina Lopez, and you may continue to work for the future generations of Filipinos. Run over whoever gets into your way, and friendship ends when your friends do wrong to the people.

  9. It is good that Duterte is supporting Gina Lopez. But why claim that some mining interests are funding a destabilization plot? What is Duterte’s basis for saying that? It is Duterte’s own actions that will destabilize his administration. So he should concentrate on building the economy and focusing on helping the people and stop making unfounded statements. God bless the Philippines.

    • Your premise is double-bladed. While you praise President Digong for supporting Sec. Gina Lopez in her order to close some mining companies doing havoc to the environment you also want to pull his legs claiming his destabilization charges against some miners who want him out of the picture is without basis. How do you know it is without basis? You only know what is there in the news for everybody to read. But what about Digong’s A-1 info from the “grapevine” which is only exclusively available to him and is kept secret from us? We only know what he is telling us is true when you see the LP’s secret destabilization move is already there. I have a feeling you are one of the sympathizers of the LPs and I cannot blame you for that because there are many things that are already beyond your grasp and control like the proliferation of illegal drugs before where the LPs were largely the one being benefited.

    • And you D-Bystander, what makes you think that it is only the president’s opponents who are in support of the miners? Do you think that corrupt politicians come from only one side of the political spectrum. You are indeed naive and probably hoping that many more people are killed in the so called war on drugs, which is actually a war on the poor.

    • GERARD, What makes you think those killed due to drugs are poor? Simply because they live in those shanties portrayed in almost all of international media? Those gangsters have more stash of cash than you. Shanties are actually their choice of places to be, both for easier ACCESS to their daily habits and COVER for DRUG DENS.

  10. Even many times bypassed by powerful CA with the backup of corrupt politician like the yellow ISIS, our president has the prerogative to re-install Ms.Gina Lopez as her environmental secretary!

  11. The Philippines has little in the way of competitive advantage over other countries – with the exception, possibly, of mining. Mining offers the potential for generating wealth, jobs and government revenue (to pay for social services). Rather than shutting down the mines – killing the goose that lays the golden egg – the government should be establishing and enforcing a code of conduct to ensure that mines operate without irrevocably harming the environment. (It is likely that the 1995 revisions to the mining act already put legislation in place to ensure ‘responsible mining.’) No question that the mining industry (not just in the Philippines) has a very checkered history. But that was then. The focus should be on the future, not the past. It will be sad if a misguided administration, despite good intentions, brings additional poverty to the nation by destroying millions of jobs – often in remote areas – because of naive views about one of its most valuable industries, and about the environment.

    • It seems you are not paying too close attention to what is being said out there: no amount of money can compensate for the wanton destruction of the environment. There should be a moratorium on mining operations so salvage operations can be conducted into these devastations that contribute to earthquakes, flashfloods, inclement weather and all~round pollution. I wonder if you were listening to Sec. Lopez about his proposed laid out plan of alternative, sustainable income~generating enterprises. We are not responsible only for our country but we are answerable to the so ereign nations who we share patrimony on this Earth! All the more the need of the hour is to organize a conversation of nations to collectively manage the natural resources in a wholistic way.

    • No one but the top execs get rich with mining. I’m sure you’re aware of that. If you want to know, even mining giant BHP Billiton with its promise of top-of-the-line machines and eco-social growth to the people of Brazil failed them. What did the Brazilians get? Denuded, polluted, raped environment. And all for nothing.

  12. It’s the same everywhere in politics. One side funding the other to destroy it. And at what cost? At the cost of the unity of the nation and of the people. If agitators spent all that time and money agitating for unity and not party things might get done. Things like destroying the terrorists. NPA, Abu Sayyaf, MILF, BIFF, MNLF all these groups are need to be destroyed. There is no time or room for partisan politics when the country has already been destabilised by these terrorist groups and the bloody spectre of ISIS looms over these islands.