No to ‘revolutionary taxes’ — miners

October 7, 2011 9:41 pm 

Manila, Oct. 7 — The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines has expressed alarm over assertions by insurgents that their terrorist attack against three mining firms in Claver, Surigao del Norte last October 3 was a retaliatory action for alleged environmental destruction committed by those firms.

In a statement, the Chamber of Mines said the insurgents – whose real intention was to extort money from responsible large-scale mining operators in the area – are clearly riding on the wave of sentiments being advanced by, among others, the Palawan anti-mining movement whose proponent, wittingly or unwittingly, are being used by groups identified with the left.

The constant propaganda aired during the last nine months of the proponent’s TV and radio facilities nationwide to promote its advocacy Save the Palawan Movement has apparently emboldened the NPA to believe that protection of the environment can justify their attacks on mining companies, the miners said.

”As a reiteration of our adherence to the principles of responsible mining and good governance, we wish to underscore that our member-companies will never succumb to pressures of whatever form to pay the rebels’ so-called ‘revolutionary taxes’,” the chambers said.

”As contractors of the Philippine government, our members are committed to religiously pay the right amount of taxes only to the government,” the statement said.

In the pursuit of its projects, miners said they uphold the human rights of all stakeholders, especially those in their host communities.

”We will remain to be the Filipino people’s partner in progress in the areas of job creation and livelihood promotion, educational advancement, community development, health and sanitation, infrastructure, increased government revenues, and poverty alleviation. We will continue to strive to minimize the negative impact of our activities, products and services on the environment, on people and on communities where we operate,” the miners said.

The miners have asked the Aquino Administration to provide protection for investments in minerals developments – a major component of the Medium-Term Development Plan. The chamber members said they were heartened by the assurances of President Benigno Aquino III, through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. and Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, that the perpetrators of the recent attack would be brought to justice.

”We also ask the Palawan anti-mining movement to refrain from spreading half-truths and outright lies in its shotgun approach to stop minerals development not only in Palawan but, effectively, in the whole country as well,” the statement said.(PNA) RMA/BAC/utb

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