Philippines: Executive disorder – the wait continues…
The ongoing saga surrounding the long-delayed Presidential Executive Order on mining continues to – well, ‘go on’.
Despite a flurry of press stories predicting its imminent arrival, at the time of writing nothing has yet appeared. Nonetheless, enough details have been leaked to give a flavour of what can be expected. And a number of actors aren’t happy. Probably at the top of that list are the provincial governors, opposed to any attempt by the President to assert the superiority of mining over local ordinances. As most commentators point out, such legal disputes can really be settled only by the courts, so this attempt to please the mining companies seems superfluous (and may itself lead to such court action).
The key clash over such ordinances relates to Xstrata’s Tampakan project. To the outrage of pupils, one local major submitted their school attendance sheets to the government, masquerading as support for the mine. There has been yet more violence associated with the project. Recent shootings include the killing of a security guard, employed ultimately by British security firm G4S.
‘Mining firm, not tribesmen, to blame for atrocities in Tampakan’
Xstrata-controlled Sagittarius Mines Inc. is to blame for the rising violence in its Tampakan copper-gold project area and not the tribesmen supposedly responsible for the atrocities, a militant leader said yesterday. Ryan Lariba, spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Socsksargen, defended the “pangayaw” launched by the B’laan tribesmen against the mining firm. Pangayaw is reportedly a tribal tradition to confront with force threats to their ancestral lands. “There would be no violence if only the mining company respects the wish of the tribal members for them to abandon the Tampakan project,” Lariba said.