Bishops Step Up Campaign Against Mining

21 March 08 | Posted in Global Catholic

Three senior Roman Catholic bishops stepped up their campaign against the mining industry saying it destroyed both the environment and the local communities.

“Mining in the Philippines not only destroys the environment but has become the vehicle for the violation of human rights, enthnocide of indigenous communities, and even deaths,” said Bishop Sergio Utleg as they launched “Anti-Mining Solidarity week.” utleg2-a.jpg

Utleg, chairman of a special commission on tribal communities on the influential Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, charged that encouraging mining investment in this impoverished country was a violation of human rights.

Bishop Ramon Villena also said only foreign and local investors were benefiting from the resurgence of the mining industry which President Arroyo has been promoting.

Fellow Bishop Deogracis Iniguez said he hoped the anti-mining week would drum up support for opposition to the industry.

The mining industry, which employs about 140,000 people, has enjoyed a revival in recent months, thanks to the opening of the sector to foreign investment, a measure promoted by Mrs. Arroyo.

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