eastwind journals 38 – NOYNOY’s MINING MINDSET anatomy of a president

eastwind journals 38


eastwind journals are the personal journalistic writings of Bernie Lopez, and are not part of the healing ministry. Any views or comments are his own and does not reflect those of the ministry.


Anatomy of a President
They say it is okay to be ignorant as long as you are not arrogant. A combination of the two is disaster. An ignorant arrogant person will insist violently in his ignorance. Humility is the saving grace for ignorance.


The same is true for being pro-foreigner. It is okay to be pro-foreigner as long as you are not anti-Filipino. A pro-foreigner anti-Filipino will sell his own kind for a song, and make it look like ‘economic growth’ even if it is the opposite. Being a true Filipino is the saving grace for a pro-foreigner. What is Noynoy?


When Noynoy signs the pro-foreigner anti-Filipino mining EO, he is not really that much of a pro-foreigner. He is just after non-existent big bucks. He is, just like the rest of our presidents, pro-money. But who isn’t these days? Rare is the president who would serve the Filipino, not during these hard times. In the local jargon, we say “Hindi na uso yon.” (That is no longer a trend.) But there are many of us who are hungry for a president who would sacrifice imagined big bucks for the beleaguered Filipino. We need a Gandhi whose charisma overwhelms, whose unselfishness is known even in the remote Himalayan foothills.


Why is the mining EO pro-foreigner? Simple, it gives preferences to mining multinationals, which we all know have dozens of dirty tricks up their sleeves, whose bad reputation worldwide is known. Recently, a high school teacher was caught using signatures of students as evidence of support for the Xstrata-SMI project. What a pathetic desperate move. Noynoy gives rogue corporations a red carpet, thinking he would quadruple government revenue. But this is an illusion, as proven by a previous eastwind-journals article –
Why is the mining EO anti-Filipino? Simple – take for example the Xstrata-SMI mining project in Tampakan, South Cotabato, which will destroy hundreds of thousands of hectares of prime agricultural land at the very heart of Central Mindanao permanently for all future generations. It will induce protracted famine and insurgency, and here we have Noynoy who is blind to this. He sees only the glitter of gold. That is being anti-Filipino with a capital F. The Xstrata-SMI project will be the largest nationwide once approved. It will build a mega-tailings dam 20 times that of the infamous Marcopper dam in Marinduque sitting forever atop a mountain, waiting for an earthquake or a super-typhoon. Watch the Youtube on ‘Killer Dam – part1’-


Why is the mining EO unconstitutional. Simple, it arrogantly contradicts many existing laws. It ignores the Local Government Code LGC) and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). The EO says that national law has primacy over local laws, negating the Local Government Code. Let the Supreme Court have the final say. For an EO is never above the law or the Constitution. If a presidential EO negates existing laws, then we are in a dictatorship, not a democracy.


The EO ignores the role of the Department of Agriculture which is concerned about massive damage to agricultural lands. It allocates vital water for agriculture to create toxic tailings to destroy that very agriculture. Yet we still hopelessly an agrarian economy. To destroy agriculture lands in an agrarian economy is economic suicide. Noynoy cannot see this. DENR’s Paje and MGB’s Jasareno are not to blame. They simply follow blindly what the boss says, or resign.


Now for the first time, Noynoy is feeling political pressure. He has always been smug in his popularity, but like all presidents, Marcos, Ramos, even mother Cory, Erap, and GMA, Noynoy is on the way down in terms of ratings. No president can sustain popularity for strange reasons. Not in this country where forces from a 360 degree angle of the entire spectrum from infra-red (radical) to ultra-violet (conservative) are ready to pounce at the slightest provocation. Well, for Noynoy, the provocation has come, though not that slight. A class action suit from 40 (or less) governors, if it is not just a threat, can be more serious than impeachment in terms of popularity. It is the last thing he wanted. It may be the greatest blunder of his administration. This may negate his legacy. Winning in the Supreme Court against 40 governors will not restore his popularity. The only thing that can reverse this political disaster is humility. He must be humble enough to admit his mistake and recall the mining EO. But out of perhaps arrogance and ignorance, he will not. It is shameful to change one’s mind when you live in a palace. It is a sign of weakness.


Yet this weakness was evident all along. For many months, Noynoy was vacillating, not knowing what to do. The powerful lobby forces from both pro- and anti-mining groups were overwhelming him. He postponed the mining EO proclamation several times. There were about seven versions of a new mining act. He was at a loss because he never had the true vision of development for the Filipino. His vision was development for government in partnership with rogue multinationals. The pros and the antis were like oil and water. This environment-versus-economy war locked Noynoy in an impasse. He was right in the middle. 


If I were Xstrata-SMI, I would not roll out the barrel yet. It is a premature move. Many things can happen. There is a high probability the Supreme Court is pro-Filipino. It can easily junk the EO. Also, the Filipino may not allow a President to turn the vital Central Mindanao bread basket into a Boac River beyond rehabilitation. Goodluck Mr. President on your infamous political gambit.


[This article is being emailed to Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa, DBM Secretary Butch Abad, DENR Secretary Paje, Mining Study Group Secretariat Atty. Grip Bueta, MGB Director Jasareno, NCIP Zenaida Pawid, CHR Chair Rosales, South Cotabato SP Member Ernie Catedral, British Ambassador Stephen Lillie, SMI Environment Manager Ian Callow, ECJP-NASSA Chair Broderick Pabillo, Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Guttierez, NASSA Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez, AMRSP Archie Casey, Ateneo de Davao University President Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ, SAC Marbel Fr. Joy Pelino and Rene Pamplona, Christian Monsod, Philippine Misereor Partnership Atty. Mario Maderazo, Alyansa Tigil Mina National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera, ABS-CBN Foundation President Gina Lopez, orking Group on Mining in the Philippines Clive Wicks and Robert Goodland, Philippine Daily Inquirer Editor in Chief Letty Magsanoc, Mindanews Editor in Chief Carolyn Arguillas, and about 7,000 thousand mine watchers nationwide and abroad.]


Bernie Lopez
advance copy, eastwind journals column
Opinyon Magazine, July 9, 2012
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