With the death toll in the aftermath of typhoon “Sendong” reaching a thousand, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called on the Supreme Court to junk the country’s laws on mining and logging, saying these are responsible for the flashfloods that caused the deaths and destruction in the Visayas and Mindanao.
In particular, KMU called for a halt in the implementation of Republic Act 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995) and Presidential Decree 705 (Forestry Reform Code), as well as the immediate junking of these laws.
“These laws are responsible for bringing the country’s environment to its present sorry state and for causing Sendong-level destruction,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“It is now clear that the destruction of the environment due to wanton mining and logging caused the flashfloods that killed more than a thousand of our fellow Filipinos and washed away entire communities,” he said.
“In the interest of the Filipino workers and people, the Supreme Court should act immediately to stop the implementation of these laws and to junk them immediately. Large-scale corporate mining and logging should be banned completely,” he added.
The labor leader said that Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has refused to junk the said laws, despite calls from people’s and enviromentalist organizations.
“The Aquino regime’s drive to sell more of the country’s natural resources to big foreign and local capitalists should be stopped dead in its tracks,” Labog said.
“Now it is clear: the government has not only sold our natural resources to big corporations. It has in the same breath bartered the workers’ and people’s lives with the devil,” he added.
KMU said that the sellout of the country’s natural resources is at the center of the Private-Public Partnership program of the Aquino government and the renewed drive to amend the 1987 Constitution.
“That is why it is imperative for the Supreme Court to step into the fray, stop the destruction of the environment and prevent Sendong-level disasters in the future,” Labog said.
“Given the changing weather patterns in the world, we cannot sit back and relax thinking that Visayas and Mindanao will be spared by typhoons,” he added. Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson