Duterte to go after mining firms not choosing ‘strict’ standards
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday vowed to go after mining companies not following the “strictest” standards of responsible quarrying. “We are still starting but we will go after mining na hindi sumusunod sa standard, the strictest (standard),” Duterte said during his speech at the environmental summit in Davao City.
He said the best practices in mining in the world could be found in Canada and Australia. “If you cannot follow that standard, I’m sorry,” he said. While he was in favor of responsible mining, Duterte said quarrying in the country should be limited. “Whether (mining) is legal or not, it will destroy the country,” he said. “So, there has to be a limit and along the way, if God grants me life for six years flat, we will realize the dream because ayaw ko na talaga. After so much, no more,” he added.
The President said oligarchs in the country had been benefitting from irresponsible mining. “That is why itong mga malupa sa Mindanao and everywhere else, ‘yung mga mina napupunta ‘yan sa mga oligarch. Walang iba ‘yang ginawa, kung hindi mag-influence peddling,” he said.
He described these oligarchs as “monsters” he wanted to “destroy.” Duterte cited the condition of the mountains in Tubay, Agusan del Norte, which he said now looked like a desert because of massive mining activities.
“Yung iba, they destroy, for example Tubay, Agusan del Norte. Pumunta ka doon, parang inararo ‘yung bukid. As if they’re going to plant something there,” the President said. “Di mo alam kalahati, desert na, kalahati may mga tanim pa kahoy. Magtataka ka kung sa malayo anong itatanim. They are not into planting. They are into the open-pit mining and destroy the soil along the way,” he added.