PAMPANGA, PHILIPPINES - Multi-sectoral groups holds a forum January 20 to educate the public on the dangers posted by persistent and proposed mining in the Province of Pampanga in the Philippines particularly in Mt. Negron in Porac, and Mt. Abo among others. If remain unchecked, Pampanga might end up in a disaster situation worst that that of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
"In the issue of mining, there are no such thing in Angeles City and I would never allow it," says Mayor Ed Pamintuan. "However, we need to participate in the mining issues affecting our nearby towns because it will pose danger to our people specially those of the minorities," he added.
One of the major issues being look upon is the recent tragedy in Pantukan, Compostela Valley were more than 50 people were killed and another 40 missing. While the administration is said to warn and prohibit further small-scale mining they are visibly endorsing large-scale mining by foreign companies.
"The Aquino administration is blaming the poor small-scale miners while letting large companies on mining, logging and other corrupt officials continue to ransack and destroy our environment and natural resources," says G. Leon Dulce, spokesperson of Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment.
In Pampanga, the incident in Camias, Porac was perhaps one of the scenes of the local battle against mining. In this battle Bienvenido Capuno, Baranggay Captain of Camias died protecting the 1,164 hectares of Mt. Negros Omas. This mountain is home to more than 3,000 Itas, an indigenous tribe in the Philippines.
Pisumpan Copper Mines (PCMI) which was the one being blamed responsibility for the event above is inherited by Gregorio Dizon, the son of the original owner Juvencio Dizon. Juvencio Dizon is one of the major investors of Dizon Copper Mines which is currently mining the mountains of Zambales particularly in Pili, San Marcelino.
"We will not allow our mountains to be destroyed because they are a source of our life," says Ptr. Benny Capuno, representative of the Ayta pastors Fellowship and brother of Brgy. Captain Capuno.