The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today said it is one with the Catholic Church in fighting large-scale foreign mining in Region 8. “We agree with the stand of the Palo Archdiocese that large-scale mining today will not benefit the people but only foreign capitalists, as well as seriously damage the environment,”said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson.
“Indeed, foreign mining seeks the quickest way to make profits from simple raw materials extraction and export, without contributing to our industrial development and without regard for safeguarding the environment. Thus, the Aquino government’s fast-tracking of foreign mining projects in Samar and Leyte is immoral and unjust for betraying the people and the national patrimony, as well as being anti-development and anti-environment,” Fr. Salas said.
He added that the foreign mining issue also opens up other related issues of the people regarding genuine economic development. Fr. Salas said that “An economic issue like foreign mining brings up the dire socio-economic conditions of the masses of the people who suffer from landlessness and joblessness. Meanwhile, the minority made up of the landlords, big business and big bureaucrats control and plunder the economy together with foreign monopoly capital. The Aquino government’s push for large-scale foreign mining is therefore plain highway robbery for the interests of the few. On the other hand, any plan for national development should come with agrarian reform and national industrialization to benefit the majority who are the peasants and workers. Genuine land reform will liberate the peasantry from poverty and contribute to the production of raw materials for industrial production. National industrialization will create jobs and manufacture the country’s needs.”
The NDF-EV spokesperson called for broad unity against large-scale foreign mining. “The various sectors can unite and carry out mass actions and other activities in demanding a stop to foreign mining in the region and for the scrapping of the Mining Act which makes it possible. They must furthermore continue the struggle against the the Aquino regime’s economic policies that are anti-people, anti-national and subordinate to imperialist globalization. They must assert genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization as essential for economic development. In the future, the struggle for economic emancipation and sovereignty will find fruition when the people’s democratic government has been built to serve the interests of the majority.”#
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