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PRRD determined to put a stop to destructive mining practices

DENR Sec Gina Lopez
MANILA, Philippines – Appearing before the faculty and students of the Ateneo de Davao University during the “Oya Mindanaw,” President Rodrigo R. Duterte lashed out at the oligarchs who exploit the country’s natural resources, particularly those in the mining and fisheries industry.
“We are here now and we will go after mining businesses, which do not follow the standards. Even if it were a legitimate business, we can only hold so much. Whether it is legal or not, it will destroy the country,” the President said. President Duterte and Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez are passionately going after mining firms that continue to practice environmentally destructive open-pit methods and corporations that are granted mining permits through money, influence and sheer greed. “I am fighting a monster. Believe me, I will destroy their clutches on our nation,” he said.
The President stressed that it is not proper to grant permits solely on the basis that a mining firm can afford it. He pointed out that he is determined to put a stop to destructive mining practices, simply because the land has already taken a beating. He said, “What I am sure of, I am a worker of government. Mining is a sunset industry and also logging. It is already too late. If there were 24 hours in a day, logging is on its 25th hour. We cannot cut trees anymore.”
Proud of the fact that during the elections, he refused to accept campaign contributions from individuals who had vested interests, the President feels he owes no favor to anyone and he serves not one but everyone.
“The oligarchs are resisting because it will destroy the power vortex. I do not owe anyone. Many would like to maintain the status quo. I will destroy this little by little. I will open the country’s resources to all Filipinos, regardless of tribe, race or religion. We have only one nation,” he stressed.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.