Monday, July 06, 2009

Mati folks reject mining operation in Davao Oriental

DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 6, 2009) – Filipino environmentalists marched on Monday to protest continued mining operations in the southern Philippine province of Davao Oriental.

The protesters, led by a multi-sectoral group called Kabukiran, Kapatagan, Kadagatan Panalipdi (KKKP), said the mining operations caused pollution, flash floods and landslides in the town of Mati.

Fishermen and peasants and interfaith groups also joined the protest dubbed as “Baktas Katawhan Para sa Kinaiyahan.” They were protesting against the operation of the Bearbull Mining, Inc. in the village of Dawan. The environmental rights network PANALIPDAN-Southern Mindanao Region also participated in the march.

Gil Gentiles, KKKP chairperson, said that the mining operations started without prior consultations with the people of the affected communities.

“These hazards would also cause destruction to agricultural lands and protected area of Pujada Bay,” Gentiles said.

Sister Stella Matutina, head of the Saint Scholastica’s Institute Education to Faith and Integral Development based in Mati town, said the “Baktas Katawhan Para sa Kinaiyahan” is a unity walk for the protection, justice and integrity of creation particularly aimed to stop all destructive mining and logging operations in Mati.

“The whole world continues to feel the effects of global warming and climate change. It is a good news that there are still many people who continue to spread consciousness and awareness of the need to uphold the integrity of creation through different forms such as forest conservation, proper waste management, sustainable-organic-bio-diversified farming and strong opposition to destructive logging and mining,” she said.

Francis Morales, PANALIPDAN-SMR spokesperson, urged the provincial government to listen and take action on the just calls and demands of the citizens.

There was no immediate statement from the mining firm about the accusations.

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