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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

Department of Environment and Natural Resources


MINES ADJUDICATION BOARD
Visayas Avenue, Diliman, 1106 Quezon City

PARA SA BAYAN DEVELOPMENT GROUP,


Complainant,
versus MAB CASE NO. 0101-01
(Hon. Jose Chua)

Benguet Corporation,
Apo Land and Quarry Corporation,
Philex Mining Corporation,
and all other mining companies.
Respondents,
x----------------------------------------x

“POSITION PAPER”
COMPLAINANT, through counsel and unto this Honorable Office most
respectfully submits this Position Paper, thus:

THE PARTIES
Complainant PARA SA BAYAN DEVELOPMENT GROUP represented by
President Nicole Sia is a non-stock and nonprofit corporation composed of
civic-spirited citizens, women, children and youth leaders of the Philippines
who are committed to the national renewal, truth, justice, love, freedom,
equality and protection of our people and environment where they may be
served with processes of this Honorable Office.
AND
Respondents BENGUET CORPORATION, APO LAND AND QUARRY
CORPORATION, PHILEX MINING CORPORATION and all other mining
companies are corporations existing under the Philippine law where they may
be served with processes of this Honorable Office.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
SENTENCE OUTLINE: Mining, legal or not is the destruction of life and
property hence, it’s gonna be our death if not permanently terminated.

1. Now and then, mining companies only cause pollution, environmental


disasters and ecological disruptions in the Philippines. To name a few, here are
some of the reports made before involving the Respondents:

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 Bulatlat’s 2016 online article “Cordilleran group slams ISO award for
Benguet Corp” stated that Benguet Corporation, the country’s oldest
mining firm cannot just wash its hands on the land subsidence, which
occurred on October 22, 2015 in Virac village, Itogon town in Benguet
province. This incident was a result of the company’s underground
tunneling. “Their long history of mining activities such as
underground tunneling in the area is a hard fact that that can explain
the land subsidence”, Mero said.

 According to the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines (2013),


the Philex Mining Corporation mine spills in Benguet province
represents the “biggest mining disaster in the Philippines”. That the
disaster done by the Respondent done is ten times more than the
volume of mine tailing that spilled out of the Marcopper mine in 1996
in Marinduque, which dumped approximately two million metrics
tons of wastes into the Boac River and is still considered the worst
mining disaster in terms of toxicity. It caused the inflow of mine tailing
to the San Roque Dam, the Agno River the Province of Pangasinan and
yet two another two massive landslides.

2. Yet another two (2) serious disruptions are still believed to be under the
responsibility of the Respondents and all other mining companies in the
Philippines described as follows:

 CNN Philippines reported that at least 35 people have died in a


landslide last September 17, 2018 in the town of Benguet known
for its mining activities.

 In addition, GMA Network also reported that the death toll from a
landslide in the enormous mining-induced Naga City last
September 20, 2018 has climbed 25.

3. In a span of week, two massive landslides specifically in Itogon Benguet


and Naga, Cebu hit the Philippines killing at least 90 people, with dozens
still missing. According to Rappler (2018), the two aforementioned
double disaster are similar despite their distance. Despite the days and
thousands of kilometers in distance, these landslides are not isolated
from each other. They share the same causes and leave the same lessons
for disaster preparedness and response.

4. Mining companies are partly to blame for the said landslides that killed
many innocent people in the area.

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ISSUES
1. WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENTS AND ALL OTHER MINING
COMPANIES IN THE PHILIPPINES SHOULD CONTINUE OPERATING.

2. WHETHER OR NOT THE RESPONDENTS AND ALL OTHER MINING


COMPANIES ARE CRIMINALLY AND CIVILLY LIABLE FOR THE
LANDSLIDE INCIDENTS IN ITOGON, BENGUET AND NAGA, CEBU.

DISCUSSION/ARGUMENTS
1. Complainants believe that the Respondents and all other mining
companies in the Philippines should stop operating permanently because even
if the said companies are legally operating or not, it should be noted of the
numerous accounts of lives and properties have been lost.

In the Philippines, Mining is one of the biggest environmental issues that


the country and its legislators are facing due to the destruction, pollution and
ecological disruptions it caused.
It has been noticeable that Mother Nature is at risk when it comes to
mining. In 2006, a fact finding team from UK came to the Philippines to oversee
the situation of the mining sites and the communities in which they are located.
They observed that "the record of mining companies with regard to
environmental protection, disasters and post-mining clean-up in the
Philippines is widely acknowledged, even with the government, to be very poor.
As of 2003, there had been at least 16 serious tailing dam failures in the
preceding 20 years and about 800 abandoned mine sites have not been cleaned
up. Clean-up costs are estimated in billions of dollars and damage will never be
fully reversed." (Doyle, Wicks & Nally, 2006)
They warned that "water contamination from mining poses one of the top
three ecological security threats in the world. Many mining applications in the
Philippines are in water catchment areas close to the sea, and pose major threat
to valuable marine resources." (Doyle, Wicks & Nally, 2006)
Illegal mining is not only dangerous to human life but the other living
organisms which support human existence, thus, in turn destroying the
ecosystem. (Adu, Amponsah, Osei, 2016)
Nigerian Professor Dukiya (2013) said that Legal measures have proved
totally inappropriate as a means of control. Moreover, supervision becomes
nearly impossible when large numbers of such people converge on an area and
are willing to use force in defense of their interests.
Furthermore, Congress of the Philippines should not continue issuing
permits to these mining companies, rather it should enact a law that would
legally cease its operations because what matters most is the national welfare,
safety and security of the citizens of the Philippines. Otherwise, the powers that
have been delegated by the people to its government would become useless and
worthless.

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2. Complainants presumed that the Respondents and all other mining
companies are criminally and civilly liable for the landslide incidents in
Itogon, Benguet and Naga, Cebu.
It is so unfortunate that the miners in the mountains of the northern
Philippines usually dig for gold. However, due to the tragic incident, they were
digging for their colleagues and relatives buried under a vast landslide
unleashed by the Typhoon. (Romero, Morella, Presse, 2018)
Report made by the UK team also emphasized the very high geo-hazard
risks in the Philippines which may cause landslide in the area. "In the
Philippines, over half of the active mining concessions and two-thirds of
exploratory concessions are located in areas of high seismic risk where
earthquakes are likely." (Doyle, Wicks & Nally, 2006)
With this report alone, it is obvious who are the real principal suspects in
the double disasters both happened last September 2018. Therefore, victims
should take a legal action against the Respondents and all other mining
companies for being criminally and civilly liable and government should do
whatever means necessary to prevent such incidents to happen again like
banning mining companies in the Philippines for example.

TRIPLETS LAW OFFICES


Dapitan St., Sampaloc, Manila
Counsel for the Complainant

BY: ATTY. PRIMMA BELLE SOPHIA REYES


City of Manila
ROLL NO. 199821
MCLE Compliance No. 72551

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VERIFICATION

I, PARA SA BAYAN DEVELOPMENT GROUP represented by President


Nicole Sia, after having duly sworn to in accordance with law, hereby depose
and state:

1. That I together with all my members of the said group are the
complainants in the above-entitled case.
2. That we caused the preparation of the foregoing Position Paper.
3. That all the allegations therein contained true and correct to the
best of our knowledge.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, President Nicole Sia as the sole representative


of PARA SA BAYAN DEVELOPMENT GROUP have hereto affixed my signature
this 13th day of October 2018 at the City of Manila.

President Nicole Sia


Affiant

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REFERENCES:

35 dead, dozens feared buried in Benguet landslide. (2018, September 18).


CNN Philippines. Retrieved from
http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/09/17/Itogon-Benguet-landslide-
mining.html

Adu, K. O., Amponsah, S. & Osei, A. A. (2016). Factors influencing participation


in illegal mining in Ghana: A case of Denkyira Corridor. Retrieved from
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/69678/1/MPRA_paper_69678.pdf
Bautista, S. M. (2013). Mining: Treasure or Nuisance. Retrieved from
https://www.academia.edu/34219806/Position_Paper_on_Mining_in_the_Phi
lippines?auto=download

Aryoso, D. (2016, March 29). Cordilleran group slams ISO award for Benguet
Corp. Retrieved from http://bulatlat.com/main/2016/03/29/cordilleran-
group-slams-iso-award-for-benguet-corp/

Death toll in Naga, Cebu landslide climbs to 25. (2018, September 21). GMA
News Online. Retrieved from
www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/regions/668590/death-toll-in-naga-
cebu-landslide-climbs-to-25/story/

Doyle C., Wicks C., and Nally F. (2007). Mining in the Philippines: Concerns and
Conflicts. Report of a Fact-Finding mission to the Philippines. (pp.63) United
Kingdom: Society of St. Columban.
Dukiya, J. J. (2013). The Environmental Implication of Illegal Minning Activities
in Nigeria, a Case Study of Pandogari and Barkin Ladi/Buruku Surface Mines in
Niger/Plateau States. Retrieved from
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/dfe9/18f68cd72cc08ee110d70f7953d9355
56c82.pdf
Petley, D. (2018. September 21). The enormous mining-induced Naga City
landslide in Cebu, the Philippines. Retrieved from
https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2018/09/21/naga-city-landslide-1/

Romero, P., Morella, C. & Presse, A. F. (2018, September 18). Miners dig for
their own Itogon landslide. Retrieved from https://news.abs-
cbn.com/news/09/18/18/miners-dig-for-their-own-in-itogon-landslide
Talabong, R. & Tizon, M. G. (2018, September 24). Twin tragedies: How Itogon
and Naga landslides are alike. Retrieved from
https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/212703-how-itogon-benguet-naga-
cebu-landslides-are-alike

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