MANILA– President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he plans to summon his former environment appointee Gina Lopez and other stakeholders in the mining industry to discuss responsible mining.
In a speech in Davao City, Duterte again raised concerns over the destruction caused by mining to communities.
“We have to go into -- not even a compromise -- we have to rearrange everything here. I will call all the mining people and Gina Lopez and company, and the militants on the other side, but only those who behave, in Malacañang,” Duterte said.
“You know, I was viewing Ted Failon’s exposé sa mining. And of course, added to that was the clips that were shown to me by Gina in the last few months,” he added, referring to the "Failon Ngayon" documentary "Pamana ng Mina," which aired July 9 on ABS-CBN.
The documentary, hosted by Ted Failon, showed the environmental degradation and devastation left by some mining companies on mining sites, and the government's seeming inaction against erring firms.
During her time in the cabinet, former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez had imposed a crackdown on the mining industry, ordering the closure of 23 companies and suspending 5 others. She had to leave her post after being rejected by the powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments.
If the meeting pushes through, Duterte said he would show stakeholders the devastation wrought by the mining industry on the environment.
The President, nonetheless, conceded that the Philippines could not abandon mining “because there is a mining law that regulates the industry.”
He, however, said “we cannot just sit there on our a** and watch this evolve [before] our eyes.”
“Good mining means no people are in pain,” he said.