January 24, 2012
BM Christoper de Leon Ignored People’s Clamor to Stop Large-Scale Mining Operations, Provincial Board Resolution 253, Enemy of the environment!
While the recent tragedy of Typhoon ‘Sendong’ remains fresh on the memory of the nation, Bukluran Para sa Inang Kalikasan (BUKAL), was extremely appalled to know that the Provincial Board of Batangas already approved and endorsed the development operation of destructive large-scale mining in the province.
Last week, Bukluran Para sa Inang Kalikasan (BUKAL) received a letter from the office of Governor Vilma Santos-Recto inviting its members on a meeting to discuss mining in Batangas. Prior to this, BUKAL has learned from an online report published by the CrazyHorse Limited, a Canadian Mining firm venturing in Gold-Exploration Project in Taysan, that it has already received endorsement and approval from the Provincial Board since last May 11, 2011 through Provincial Board Resolution 253.
Today, January 24, BUKAL has formally acquired copy of the resolution and dismayed to know that the passage of said resolution happened during the times that different institutions, churches, schools and communities already held series of dialogues and lobbying to the Provincial Board, particularly to BM Christopher De Leon, as Head of the Provincial Environment Committee.
“We are dissapointed with BM de Leon’s hypocritical stand towards protecting the environment. On a Church-Leaders Forum Dialogue with BM De Leon last March 3, 2011 where he was represented by his Chief-of-Staff who committed to study if they could include BUKAL’s Call for Mining Moratorium in the draft of the Provincial Environment Code. A month before this, BUKAL have already raised concern against large-scale mining in Batangas to BM De Leon, himself in one of our lobbying efforts,” narrated Fr. Oliver Castor, BUKAL Head Convenor.
“Now, the Batangueño people should know, that he was the primary responsible to allow Large-Scale Mining in Batangas, together with all members of the Provincial Board, who unanimously supported the said resolution and betrayed people’s trust by ignoring our clamor to save Batangas from environmental destruction!” Fr. Castor added further.
Aside from BM De Leon, BUKAL also named BM Carlos Bolilia who sponsored the said resolution, BM Rowena Sombrano-Africa (co-sponsor) and all members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as liable to the people and the environment for such betrayal of people’s interest, except for BM Rosales of the 1st District who was on sick-leave when they passed Resolution 253.
Governor Vi, Mining Firms to Meet with Anti-Mining Advocates Tomorrow
In a meeting called by Governor Santos-Recto tomorrow, January 25 at 1:00pm in the Provincial Capitol, Bukluran Para sa Inang Kalikasan (BUKAL) shall challenged the Head of the Province to take the stand for the environment.
“After the Provincial Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved of Large-Scale Mining in the province, she has to take her stand now, would she side with the people in the clamor to save Batangas, or would she be one among the enemy of the environment by siding with her colleagues’ actions? Tomorrow, more than ever, is the moment the Batangueno people will know who she really serves for…” also added Fr. Castor.
From 12:30nn tomorrow, members of Bukluran Para sa Inang Kalikasan, together with residents of mining affected areas and anti-mining advocates, shall hold a Rally to condemn Provincial Board Resolution 253 and Call on Governor Vilma Santos-Recto to Stop Mining in Batangas, and Revoke the said Resolution. A program will be held before the dialogue, and during the dialogue period to manifest the people’s clamor against destructive mining in Batangas. #
Fr. Oliver Castor