July 10, 2012
The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today called as “too good to be true” the so-called exemptions on President Aquino’s Executive Order 79 banning mining in prime agricultural lands and fisheries development zones and marine sanctuaries.
EO 79 states that prime agricultural lands such as plantations and other properties devoted to valuable crops and fisheries development zones and marine sanctuaries as declared by the agriculture secretary.
“EO 79’s so-called exemptions are too good to be true,” says KMP spokesperson Antonio Flores citing “for instance, a vast tracts of lands in the more than 11,000 hectares in Taysan, Batangas that were given mining exploration permits are prime agricultural lands.”
The peasant group said Crazy Horse Ltd and its subsidiary Asian Arc Mining are set to plunder Taysan’s copper, gold, lead, limestone and clay deposits once it becomes fully operational in 2013.
“At the same time, massive destruction and dislocation of fishersfolk communities in Negros Occidental’s 11 towns covering 28,000 hectares were given permits for magnetite mining,” Flores said referring to the two mining permits granted to Mozart Minerals in the towns and cities of Pontevedra, San Enrique, Valladolid, Pulupandan, portion of Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, EB Magalona, Victorias, Manapla, and Sagay.
“As long as the anti-farmer Mining Act of 1995 exists and remains as the framework of Aquino’s mining EO, only big mining firms will profit from EO 79 while farmers and fishers suffer from landgrabbing and forced eviction,” says Flores. #