The Cordillera Peoples Alliance condemns the Senate Committee on Appointments’ rejection of Ms. Gina Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This event only shows who controls government. We cannot help but think that the mining industry and the mining giants mobilised their millions to influence the CA. We ask, what kind of government puts first big mining businesses over human rights and social justice. Years and years of experience in the Cordillera and elsewhere in the Philippines has proven that where there is large, destructive mining, there is State militarisation and human rights violations; irreparable environmental destruction and violation of indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands and right to self-determination.
The rejection of Ms. Lopez as DENR secretary is one among the many indicators proving that it is ultimately upon the people, especially mining-affected communities and indigenous peoples, to rely on their own strength in the fight against the plunder of our resources, ancestral lands and destructive mining.
We will continue to call for the repeal of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of the People’s Mining Bill. We will continue to resist imperialist plunder in our lands and territories, call for a stop to the operations of large and destructive mines, and for the pullout of military troops in our communities. ***
ATB Anongos, Secretary General