Glenstrata’s Insider in Malacañang pushing for Tampakan ECC?

Note : In a twitter reply, Palace spokesperson Abi Valte said ” app for ECC remanded to DENR last January. Decision not with OP anymore.”

By Bernie Lopez
Advance e-copy of eastwind journals
Opinyon Magazine, February 18, 2013

A powerful Malacañang insider is reportedly on the verge of having Noynoy approve the Tampakan ECC circa Valentines Day, according to SMI informants.

If Noynoy makes this blunder, it will pit him against the Supreme Court, and the escalating killings in Tampakan will quadruple and escalate further, fulfilling a miner’s wish for the ‘cleansing’ of the mine site in preparation for operations. Noynoy will be held accountable for Filipino lives if he approves the ECC. Does the insider have a fat juicy honorarium? Looks like Glenstrata (Glencore-Xstrata-SMI) is moving much faster than its predecessor Xstrata.

What is the information hinting that Glenstrata has a Malacañang insider? Indophil Resources NL, in order to allay investor fears, recently reported to the Australian Stock Exchange that Glenstrata-SMI “has been formally advised by the Office of the President of the Philippines that it has made a key and favourable determination in respect of a long-awaited environmental approval (of the Tampakan ECC)”. This vague statement (“key and favourable determination”) did not state that the ECC is not yet approved as of this writing, which is all that the investors want to know. Did Glenstrata issue the statement because it has a powerful Malacañang insider saying the ECC is on the verge of approval?


Open letter to Malacañang

By Bernie Lopez

Advance e-copy of eastwind journals

Opinyon Magazine, February 18, 2013

[email protected]

Dear Mr. President, this article, which is being emailed to your office, explains how your office is being stalked by powerful forces. The word ‘stalking’ essentially refers to a predator seeking prey, like a lion stalking a deer. It implies stealth, surprise, deceit, and finally, capture. This is precisely what Glencore-Xstrata-SMI (Glenstrata), the new mining merger in Tampakan, is doing to you.

Phase 1 of ‘stalking’ is the creation of the infamous EO79, authored by your Cabinet members. EO79, written under pressure on you to amend the mining law, were heavily biased for the mining industry because, directly or indirectly through contacts, the authors received inputs from the American and European Chambers of Commerce, the Chamber of Mines, and officials of mining multinationals to craft the provisions of EO79.

You and your Cabinet, Mr. President, believe that mining is a tool of development rather than of regression, a windfall for the government’s coffers rather than the impoverishment and displacement of communities, and irreversible damage to agriculture. You are being blinded by the glitter of gold.

Phase 2 of ‘stalking’ involved SMI quietly sitting down last year with the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), the most powerful mining agency in the country. MICC was created by EO79, which pre-empted efforts to amend the Philippine Mining Act of 1975, by offering new problems guised as solutions. EO79 centralized all final approval powers from the DENR-MGB-EMB consortium to the President via the Cabinet-controlled MICC.

Now it is all in your hands, Mr. President, and your Cabinet, in partnership with foreign miners, to make all mining decisions at will. You can do it in secret and without public consultation, if you choose to, via the all-powerful MICC. Many MICC decisions have not reached the public. More secret questionable mining approvals will be made.

In that closed-door meeting, the agenda of the miners included the relocation of the B’laans of Tampakan even in the absence of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) required by law. That meeting triggered the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) on resettlement, again in the absence of FPIC.

They have put the cart before the horse. An FPIC protocol must first be done before a relocation protocol to avoid the temptation of forcible or deceitful relocation. There have been many media reports on past attempts by Xstrata-SMI on deceitful and forcible relocation even in the absence of FPIC.

Phase 3 of ‘stalking’ is a meeting recently convened by the DSWD, with the imprimatur of the MICC, to talk about the formulation of resettlement standards in mining. Curiously, The TWG, which invites a few NGOs, is heavily attended by mining people and government agencies. In that DSWD meeting, MGB and NAPC were present. Curiously, NCIP, which is in charge of FPIC, and CHR, whose inactivity is fuelling the current escalating killings and militarization in Tampakan, were visibly absent.

In its present protocol, as orchestrated by the MICC in behalf of its constituent mining sector, the TWG on resettlement has very little or no inputs from those who are concerned about forced or deceitful relocation. This fulfills Xstrata-SMI’s wish for resettlement even in the absence or distortion of FPIC, which they know they can never get, after the deceit and human rights violations of the past. They are now resorting to skirting around or forcing FPIC by stalking our government and its policies.

Phase 4. There is presently a powerful Malacañang insider pushing for the Glenstrata ECC. It is not known if he receives a juicy honorarium from. If the ECC is approved in spite of the escalating killings in Tampakan, you, Mr. President, will be held accountable for Filipino lives.

The stalking being done by Xstrata-SMI has put it in a position to manipulate at will our policies and laws for their interests, not ours. Foreign agents of Glenstrata have reportedly been spotted in Tampakan, at a time when killings and militarization are currently rapidly escalating. This is an omen of doom. If Glenstrata succeeds in cleansing Tampakan by sheer depopulation, it would be the symbol of multinationals taking over Third World nations. There is a clear lack of social justice in your administration, Mr. President.

Mr. President, we want to ask if your hand is in all this, or if you are not aware of these manipulations by powerful forces. You are, inadvertently or not, handing on a silver platter the lives of our people for a measly portion of the gold windfall Xstrata-SMI drools over if you approve its ECC. [email protected]

This article is being sent to government – President Aquino, TWG members – presidential  advisers Neric Acosta and Bebet Gozun, DENR, DILG, PMS, DTI, DOT, DOST, DAR, DA, DOE, CCC,  NEDA, LPP, PCSD, PLLO; non-members DBM, NICA, NCIP, CHR, MGB;  foreign embassies – UK, Australia; private sector – MVP-Philex, Glenstrata-SMI; ngo-Church-academe  Misereor, CBCP-NASSA, AMRSP, CCCP, Tampakan Forum-led consortium, CPA-led consortium, Ateneo de Davao and de Manila, local and international green ngos; selected media outlets;  global public  – 10,000 mine-watchers here and abroad. amdg