Coalition to Philex: Stop ‘misleading’ the public

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MANILA, May 31, 2013— An anti-mining coalition slammed a mining corporation for not taking responsibility on the damages caused by the accidental discharge of mine waste in its Pacdal mine.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) on May 29 criticized Philex Mining Corporation for misleading the public in saying the National Power Corporation (Napocor) has no claim despite damages caused to the state-owned San Roque Watershed Reservation on the accidental discharge of more than thirteen million cubic meters of mine waste from its Pacdal mine.

Jaybee Garganera, ATM’s national coordinator said it is very unfortunate and outright irresponsible for Philex to snub the Napocor, one of the sectors damaged by the mine tailings spill last August.

“How about the other affected communities then? It is undeniable that the incident has not only affected areas covered by their mining tenement but also areas downstream, affecting fishing and farming communities,” Garganera said.

On May 10, Napocor wrote to Philex that they should pay Php 6-billion compensation and penalties for damages caused to the watershed’s reservoir.

A letter to the Philippine Stock Exchange was sent by Philex stating that Napocor’s claims are immaterial.

Meanwhile, the government body responsible to evaluate, monitor, and investigate mining-related incidences, is expected to respond and clarify concerns on payment of damages caused by the mines.

ATM demanded that Mines and Geosciences Bureau must facilitate negotiations and dialogues between the Napocor and Philex as well as other stakeholders affected by the mine spill.

Garganera added that the group is expecting the MGB and Philex to be fully transparent, specifically on reporting to the public how the impact of the mine tailings is being addressed.

“They should stop misleading the public about their rehabilitation work and include containing mine wastes in the San Roque Reservoir,” Garganera furthered.

The group also demanded earlier that the Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the tailings ponds of the Pacdal mines be available to all stakeholders, a demand that has remained unfulfilled, according  to ATM. (Jandel Posion) 

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