Duterte warns mining companies anew

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2017 12:11 AM | Updated as of Jul 13 2017 10:48 AM

Duterte cites 'Failon Ngayon' on mining damage to environment 

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday warned mining companies anew on the damage they cause to the environment and communities in the country.

"I have to solve the mining impasse. I’m warning the rich. Kasi ‘yung kay Failon, plus ‘yung kay Gina, kita ko talaga na destructive talaga," Duterte said in a speech delivered at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology anniversary gathering.

"And ‘yung mga devastation doon sa mga palayan, wala na, hindi na sila makapagtanim. Mga fish pond nila, it’s all poisoned. So one of these days, tawagin ko ang mga mayaman at ‘yung mga mahirap. Makinig na lang kayo," Duterte added.

He was citing the "Failon Ngayon" documentary, "Pamana ng Mina," which aired July 9 on ABS-CBN. 

The documentary, hosted by Ted Failon, details the environmental degradation and devastation left by some mining companies and the government's seeming lack of action against erring firms.

Then Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, meanwhile, imposed a crackdown on the mining industry during her term, closing 23 companies and suspending 5 others.

The President said "rich" mining companies should pay the poor who are affected by the destruction of the environment.

"If he has lost 100,000 hectares, tutal mayaman naman ‘yang mining, bayaran mo. Tapos taniman mo ng kahoy, kapag ‘di niyo taniman ng kahoy, ‘yang ulo ninyo ang putulin ko, ilagay ko sa, ‘yan ang itanim ko doon," he said.

Duterte earlier said the government can survive without the mining industry’s tax contributions.

“All you contribute to the country is about P70 billion in taxes,” he said during the inauguration of the Cordillera hub of state media PTV4. “We can live without it. I would rather follow Gina . . . Get the P70 billion somewhere else, preserve the environment. Huwag na tayo magbolahan.”

He also lashed out at mining companies that fail to plant trees in areas they damage. “Sa mga nagmimina . . . p****g i*a ninyo ano ginagawa ninyo? Tapos wala pa ako nakikita na green. Gusto ko after mo iwan dito lagyan mo ng kahoy ito,” he said.