Bishop starts online petition vs mining project

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Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A Catholic bishop has initiated an online petition urging President Benigno Aquino III to cancel permits allowing a mining company to operate the country’s largest copper and gold mining project in Tampakan town, South Cotabato province.

So far, the online petition that Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo started on Change.org has gathered more than 9,000 signatures.

“This proves that a great portion of the online community understands the dangers of mining, especially the one in Tampakan,” Pabillo said in a statement.

“Malacañang should stop the Tampakan mining project or at least answer our arguments against it,” he said.

In February, the controversial $5.9-billion Tampakan copper-gold project of Swiss firm Xstrata and its local unit, Sagittarius Mining Inc., was granted an environmental compliance certificate, one of the requirements for operation.

The project was earlier halted after the adoption of a provincial ordinance that banned open-pit mining in South Cotabato.

In his petition, Pabillo, who heads the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines National Secretariat for Social Action, cited several reasons why people should sign the petition and why the government must stop the project.

Pabillo pointed out that the mining project will displace 5,000 B’laans from their ancestral lands and destroy some 4,000 hectares of lush rain forest.

“[T]hat said, up to 800,000 trees will be cut, putting hundreds of towns at higher risk of flash floods and landslides,” he said.

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  • Manong_Kwarog

    I am surprise to those people standing against these Bishop action in stopping these mining. Maybe they are intellectually better than these Bishop or maybe morally upright. But I would suspect that they maybe against the Bishop religion itself or hate having a religion….a communist?

    • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

      these catholics are financially supporting mining activities. these show they make are just lies.
      not all catholic wants to help the poor. otherwise, DLSU and Ateneo wont prosper.

  • WAUNAKEE

    Allowing a foreign firm to operate an OPEN PIT MINING project in our country will result to Filipinos holding an empty bag at the end of the day. Worse, the concerned agencies of our government-by way of “self-serving corrupt intent” or justifiable logistical limitations, do not have the capabilities to safeguard our social, economic and environmental interest. We need mining operation to boost the industry toward economic gains, but we should opt only to sustainable mining operations.

  • oh_noh

    isama na pati “virtual mining” ni napoles!!!

  • Hfxwst

    While the Bishop is busying himself with mining concerns, who is providing spiritual leadership for Catholics, and working to feed the hungry children? The Mormons?

    • Manong_Kwarog

      We should be thankful to these Bishop because their concerns are translated into actions and they are also in the front line against these multinational mining companies who are just here to wreak havoc to our environment and just paying us a negligible amount.
      The communist (bayan, etc) as well are acting against these multinational but I am afraid of the real agenda of these kind of people.
      It is up to you who you prefer to do the action but certainly blogging is just not enough.

      • Hfxwst

        Prefer my Bishops to do only what we pay them to do. They need to be tightly managed, or they begin too think they are the government and everything else. If they wish to become social activists, then can leave the Church – we should get a rebate of their wages.

  • UrHONOR

    RIght bark wrong barker!

    • Po-cha

      d2 Urhonor Korona..kasundo tayo….harhar!

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