The people of Sta. Cruz, Zambales have reason to celebrate the change in government from President Aquino to President Duterte.
New Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has suspended several large-scale mining operations in Sta. Cruz and other nearby municipalities.
The closure order came after the Supreme Court issued a Writ of Kalikasan on June 21, 2016. The writ is a legal remedy that implores the state to protect the right of the people to a healthy environment.
But behind the sweet victory of the people against large-scale mining is a bitter reality that Sta. Cruz town will never be the same again. Damage has already been done to the ecology: mountains have been exhausted, and marine life has been disturbed.
The diverse ecology is now scarred, and this is evident not just in the environment but in the lives of the people of Zambales.
This initial victory was won through the collective efforts of anti-mining advocates and the people of the province.