When I heard about the ‘successful’ dialogue between Arroyo and members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), I said to myself, “ah, OK. Kudos to Arroyo for this PR event. And good luck to the bishops; may Arroyo listen to their prayer.”
Two months have passed, now I heard that Arroyo will not repeal, much less amend, the Republic Act 7942 (Mining Act of 1995). This after the strong recommendation by the independent commission that studied the violation by the Australian firm Lafayette of the Clean Water Act when it discharged waste water with high cyanide content into Rapu-Rapu’s creeks in October 2005.
There. Congratulations are still in order for Arroyo for having pleased the Australian firm as well as other mining corporations wanting to take out more ounces of gold from our forests. Good luck is still in order for the bishops for the continued fight against the evils of the Mining Act of 1995. (Honestly, I am one with them in this fight.)
The Inquirer seemed to propose that government is in a dilemma whether to give in to the interests of the mining firms boasting of jobs and income for the country or to listen to the qualms of the affected communities, which have not really benefitted from the mining operations at all.
Arroyo is not concerned at all about the issue. She will not shift in her seat unless she sees a national unrest, as what the CBCP forewarns of.