The Christians for National Liberation (CNL), an allied organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and composed of revolutionary church people from the Catholic and Protestant churches, is one with all revolutionary and progressive forces in supporting the military operations on three mining firms, namely Taganito Mining Corp., Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp., and Platinum Group Metals Corp. in Surigao del Norte. We agree with the statement of Jorge Madlos, NDFP spokesperson in Mindanao, that the mining companies were penalized for damaging the environment and the “companies’ treatment of its employees and the indigenous peoples who were reduced to being beggars”.
We also note the fact that though thousands of workers including foreign nationals were gathered at the mining site not a single life was lost and no one was harmed.
Mining companies in our country owned and operated by transnational corporations (TNCs), contrary to claims by economists that these contribute to national economic development, have wrought destruction to primary forests, watersheds, marine sanctuaries, pasture lands and arable agricultural land. At the same time, mining companies of TNCs, with the aid of state military forces and paramilitary groups, have displaced numerous communities, especially those of indigenous peoples, contributing to further impoverishment and misery. These have also trampled on the nation’s sovereignty and caused widespread land grabbing.
Entry of large scale mining projects and companies have been facilitated and their violations tolerated because of the over-all mining liberalization policy of the GPH as seen in the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and by subsequent mining policies, programs and projects of the Arroyo administration that have been upheld by the current Aquino administration. And though these mining companies report huge annual profits, these hardly contribute to the economic upliftment of affected communities and even of the country. Mining firms earned Php 144 billion in 2010 but paid only Php 13.7 million in taxes (GMA-7). As of 2009, mining employment stood at 169,000 accounting for less than ½ of 1% of total employment and the mining industry accounted for 1.1% of total GDP in the same year. (PDI, Oct 8, 2011)
It is but justified that such destruction and violence wrought by mining companies of TNCs should be met with revolutionary violence. Though what is highlighted are the billions of dollars lost by these companies, the impoverished masses in mining communities have suffered countless violations to their civil, political, economic and social rights.
In the current economic and political system that caters to foreign and local elite, the poor majority have no recourse but to launch a people’s war that will stop exploitative and oppressive enterprises in crushing their aspirations and dreams for progress and justice. CNL agrees with the policy of the CPP/NPA/NDF mining enterprises must be stopped and held accountable for the destruction these have wrought and these must be expelled from guerrilla fronts, zones and bases and the entire country.
The national democratic revolution is also developing a program that promotes national vital industries including the mining industry that will contribute not only to national economic growth but more importantly to the upliftment of the lives of the majority of the people. Specific to this is the proposal of the NDFP that “All mining operations shall be strictly regulated with the objective of ensuring the domestic processing of mineral ores up to the secondary and tertiary stages of industrial production while at the same time guaranteeing environmental protection, social compensation for disturbance and damage caused as well as democratic consultation with, and the consent of, the people in the communities immediately and directly affected by such operations.” (Ang Bayan, 7 January 2011)
Chair, CNL National Council
CHRISTIANS FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION
8 October 2011