Pinas nakaambang magatasan ng dayuhan!

http://www.philintheblank.org/special-coverage/kalikasan-ng-pilipinas-ipagkakatiwala-sa-dayuhan/

MAY mga kaso pala ng falsification of documents at syndicated estafa si Jean Philippe Henry ang French na ibinibida ni Environment Secretary Gina Lopez.

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MAY mga kaso pala ng falsification of documents at syndicated estafa si Jean Philippe Henry o JPH of EcoGlobal Inc. – ang French na ibinibida ni Environment Secretary Gina Lopez na kanyang mapagkakatiwalaan pagdating sa ating kalikasan.

Ito kasing si Gina ay bilib na bilib sa ideya ni JPH na magkaroon sa Rio Tuba sa Palawan ng bamboo farm na pang-wastewater treatment kuno sa mga minahan sa lugar kahit hindi naman talaga kailangan dahil sumusunod naman ang mga kompanya sa mga patakaran.

Ang matindi pa ay ito ring si JPH ang pinagkakatiwalaan ni Gina pagdating sa Pasig River rehabilitation. Kung ating matatandaan ay ito ‘yung foreigner na nag-present ng rehabilitation proposal for the Pasig River na iniharap ni Gina sa media kamakailan.

Kung natanso na siya ni Leo Jasareno – ang tao na dati nang ipinasisibak ni Presidente Digong Duterte at siyang maysala sa palpak na mining audit pero ginawa pa rin ni Gina na kanyang chief adviser sa DENR, napaglalaruan din siya ngayon ni JPH na nahaharap sa sangkaterbang kaso na isinampa ni Mercedes Zobel.

Nagsimula ang sigalot sa pagitan nina JPH at Zobel matapos na makakopo ang EcoGlobal Inc. ng Renewable Energy Service Contract mula sa Department of Energy. Ang sabi ni Zobel ay nabudol-budol siya nitong sanggang-dikit ni Gina na si JPH. Talaga nga yatang may problema si Environment Secretary Gina Lopez pagdating sa pagkilatis ng tao. May malaking problema kapag ganito, lalo’t hawak-hawak niya ang isang sensitibong puwesto sa gobyerno.

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Vilifying the Mining Industry and why we need to listen MORE to Scientists

http://www.philintheblank.org/special-coverage/vilifying-the-mining-industry-and-why-we-need-to-listen-more-to-scientists/

Some quarters are painting this as good vs evil. Why is mining evil? If we are to believe the misinformed, we could say it is anti-poor and anti-environment.

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In this corner, we have Gina Lopez, NGOs, environmentalists, some religious personalities and Winnie Monsod. Oh, and the whole Lopez clan.

In that corner, we have the mining companies, its stakeholders, geologists and scientists.

Some quarters are painting this as good vs evil. Why is mining evil? If we are to believe the misinformed, we could say that it is anti-poor and anti-environment; it destroys the earth and… well, I don’t know how it is anti-poor.

Most people still believe that mining renders the soil and the water surrounding the sites uninhabitable and non-arable. It is not mining. It’s the minerals. Heavy metals make agriculture impossible. If surrounded by water, these metals prevent fisheries to prosper because the water will be uninhabitable.

So-called pundits also argue that the country benefits from the measly less than 1 percent contribution of mining to its coffers. Mining is only present in MIMAROPA and CARAGA regions. That is less than 2 pecent of the country. Context is important, as any writer or journalist worth their salt would know. What these pundits fail to account for is that mining impacts the income and employment of people wherever it is present–people who would otherwise not have jobs, let alone the income, as agriculture and fisheries are impossible in their area.

In this battle if perceptions, cold, hard facts and data are needed. The beauty of science is that it is always true regardless of how others may try and discredit it. While this post may not reach as many as Winnie Monsod’s, the facts and data will still hold true regardless.

Somebody please feature more scientists like geologist Dr. Caloy Arcilla. For unlike other so-called experts, they actually know what they are talking about.

REPOST: Much ado about Henry: Gina Lopez pulls all stops to help French friend

http://www.philintheblank.org/special-coverage/much-ado-henry-gina-lopez-pulls-stops-help-french-friend/

Philippine Star columnist Alex Magno on (March 14) detailed the efforts Lopez exerted to help EcoGlobal Inc. clinch a power contract in Zamboanga City.

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Originally posted in Politiko.

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez’s doggedness in going after mining firms can only be matched perhaps by her resolve to helping a French company win a $100-million contract despite the shady background of one of its top officials.

Philippine Star columnist Alex Magno on Tuesday (March 14) detailed the efforts Lopez exerted to help EcoGlobal Inc. (EI) clinch a power contract in Zamboanga City.

Magno said Lopez “constantly badgered” DOE renewable energy director Mario Marasigan to grant EI the power supply contract without informing Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Lopez was determined to help EI even if its president, Jean-Philippe Henry, faces several criminal charges.

Among the cases filed against Henry was a falsification complaint by businesswoman Mercedes Zobel, who claimed her signature was forged in EI’s documents to make it appear it is 60 percent Filipino-owned.

Despite helping establish EcoGlobal Foundation Inc (EFI) to build a bamboo waste water treatment facility for the Urdaneta City University, Henry was ousted by the Filipino trustees after discovering he was withdrawing huge amounts the grant for his own use.

The Filipino trustees of EFI have filed a qualified theft charge against Henry before the National Bureau of Investigation.

According to Magno, Henry’s ouster did not sit well with Lopez, who wrote EFI to express her displeasure over the decision.

A day before the service contract was awarded to EI, Lopez and five other DENR officials left for an all-expense paid trip to France.

The bill for the trip was footed by EI, with Henry’s assurance.

What would life be without responsible mining?

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http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/opinion/2017/03/14/gacad-what-would-life-be-without-responsible-mining-531052

By FELIZARDO GACAD JR

WE WERE having dinner at home with my family when my daughter asked me a question that somewhat “rocked” my senses. She relayed how her fellow workers asked her about what mining has positively contributed to us.

Apparently, one of her fellow nurses told their team that my daughter had a Mining Engineer father and, amid all the discussions and publicity the mining industry has been getting lately, she should reveal what the positive contributions of the industry has made. I really felt for her as perhaps she was speechless and could not give out definite answers. I felt it was my fault because as a Mining Engineer, I should have been educating my family about this very important, albeit controversial, industry that I am part of – an industry that has not only helped my family but countless other individuals and families all over the world.

So I see this need, now, to go back to basics and provide information to all of you out there about what mining has done for each and every person in this planet. I would like to qualify that as what “responsible mining” has done for each and every person in this planet.

I’ll start off with where my daughter works. She’s a nurse and I told her that the emergency room is one of the most important areas in the hospital. “What do you see there?” You have stainless steel medical tools and equipment, needles and pins, dextrose bottles, maybe a minor operating table made of steel. So where did all these come from? If mining was not here, then all these steel items will also not be around.

I went further and simplified. I said that most gadgets and life-saving equipment in the hospital areas are run by electricity – electricity that is transmitted by copper wires. “Where does copper come from?” Of course it is mined! Without mining, there would be no copper, and without copper, we’d have no electricity that runs almost all of our home and office appliances and equipment.

The mobile phone is made of different parts that are metal or that came from minerals. Communication would be impossible without mining.

Transportation would be impossible without mining, unless of course we go back to animal transport. But then again these animals “pull” objects that would one way or the other have been made because of metals and minerals that were mined – nails, iron bars, bearings, metals plates, and the list goes on and on.

I’ll be devoting this space to educating the public on what benefits we derive from responsible mining. Social media has been abuzz with nega comments and criticism but even Facebook would not be around if mining was gone. So wish me luck! I’d say the problem is the lack of information available, or to a large extent the misinformation available, about the benefits and contribution of responsible mining to the development of society in general.

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 15, 2017.

Catholic Church in the Mining Industry

Did you know that the Roman Catholic Church has huge investment in Mining?

  • As of March 31, 2011, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila is the 15th top shareholder of Philex Mining Corporation (PX), the country’s largest mining firm. It owns 3.2 million shares of PX currently worth more than P66 million.
  • RCAM is also an investor in Concrete Aggregates Corp. (CA), a supplier of construction materials such as processed aggregates, ready mix concrete and crushed sand. Its investment in CA is currently valued at around P4.5 million.

Dangerous perspectives

http://opinion.inquirer.net/102224/dangerous-perspectives

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Following the slew of hastily executed mining audits and subsequent suspensions and closures, half of the legitimate large-scale mining projects in the country—all backed by lawful contracts—are in danger of being scrapped, with all the dire economic consequences seemingly buried under an avalanche of emotional and dramatic harangue.

The antimining armies of full-time, often left-leaning, propagandists are wont to emphasize and build on the divisive potential of the orders of Gina Lopez, secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Social justice and environmental issues are to them inherently and eternally contradictory with prosperity and economics. This espouses a kind of myopic mindset that effectively bars any semblance of viable mining to flourish.

But as we are witnessing, this fixation on the big players in the sector fails to account for the complex interplay of factors that characterizes the industry. It fails to present a systemic view of the critical macro and micro connections that an ideological bias—and there is certainly bias—will reliably obscure.

Worse, Lopez’s crusader persona, as effectively projected in the mainstream and social media through dramatic sound bites and well-produced videos, clouds public perception of the issue. Never mind the science and the data, their PR machine says, we must oppose big business because it is inherently oppressive.

This is a misleading take on social justice. Social justice is about the equal distribution of resources and opportunities. That the mining sector supposedly contributes a miniscule amount to the national economy is aligned with this biased messaging tactic. It ignores the fact that there are very few legitimate operating mines in the country, whose footprint reaches barely 1 percent of the land mass.

Also disregarded in the passionate debate is the long-term perspective necessary to appreciate the industry. The constitutionality of the Mining Act of 1995 was upheld by the Supreme Court only in 2005, 10 years after it was enacted.

For proper perspective, a mining company spends years, if not decades, to fully take advantage of a mining operation. Two years, easily on regulatory hurdles, then five more for the grant of an MPSA (mineral production sharing agreement), and about two more years for the construction of all related infrastructure. By this time, and the mine hasn’t even started producing anything, billions of pesos had been invested, from roads to utilities and other necessary facilities.

Thus, the mining industry has just started to gain velocity, but unstable policy has again delayed expansion.

What is the root of this opposition then? Is it a dislike for the strategic potential of our globally recognized, $840-billion mineral resource that can be instrumental in finally achieving social justice? Asking for egalitarian distribution of opportunities is one thing, but barring the means to achieve the unlocking of those opportunities is another. If, despite a strict evaluation by government regulators, they say that mining does not represent a viable avenue to development, what does? The lack of proffered alternatives is telling.

Also obscured from the discussion is the fact that the real stakeholders in the mining industry also want their voices to be heard. These real people—not propagandists—travelled to the capital from northern Luzon and Mindanao to register their voices. And for good reason. Their tormentors have never even seen, much less worked in, a real mine. Experience can never be secondary to dogma.

The “environment” is the most abused in the back-and-forth debate. While it is only right to advocate for its stewardship, there is no place either for simplistic and all-or-nothing attitudes that ignore the rule of law and science. This dangerous perspective will have long-term repercussions and eventually impede the narrative of development of this administration.

Hopefully, the intervention of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council to conduct a separate review of the DENR’s controversial mining audit sends a clear signal that it’s time to move in to clean up what President Duterte has said is “a mess.”

Dindo Manhit is president of Stratbase ADR Institute.

Is Gina Lopez being used by the Aquinos?

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The closure of mines is allegedly a subtle way of bringing down the Duterte administration under the guise of environmental care and concern. The easiest way to impeach the President and get the Yellows ruling again is to let the economy suffer and dive into the pit.

But why is Gina Lopez allowing herself to be used as a puppet?

History will tell us.

The Lopez family are allies with the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. They are members of the oligarchy that owned much of the Philippine land and assets. This includes Meralco and ABSCBN, the largest TV station in the country. In 1972, then President Ferdinand Marcos sequestered the power company and the station.

With the People Power Revolution in 1986, the oligarchs were able to successfully take office through then President Cory Aquino. Within a year in office, Cory returned Meralco and ABSCBN to the original owners without pay at least for the improvements in the interregnum. Meralco was later on sold to the Pangilinans while the station remained with the Lopezes.

The Lopezes owe the Aquinos a huge debt of gratitude. In the country, this entails the “debtor” to provide what the “creditor” is asking. In this case, the Lopezes owe it to the Aquinos to render any service the latter may need from the former. Damn if they don’t.

Is this why Gina Lopez met with President Rodrigo Duterte after winning the Presidential race and held a very long meeting with him? Is this why Gina Lopez immediately accepted the Environment Secretary position when the President offered it to her, which offer was not seriously made as mentioned by the President in his State of the Nation Address? Is this why Gina Lopez refused to acknowledge the audit results conducted by the experts in her very own agency? Is this why Gina Lopez deferred disclosure of the mine audit results?

Ultimately, is this why Gina Lopez ordered the closure of mine sites without having an alternative source of income for the affected families, letting them languish in hunger and poverty? Who cares? They are oligarchs; they will disregard everything else for their insatiable appetite to make money.

The question is, will we let our environment agency be run by a puppet Lopez whose decisions are prejudiced by the dictates of their creditor? For who in her right mind would rally against responsible mining when the family’s business primarily survives because of mining?

Let us not be blinded. Saying no to Gina Lopez is not saying no to her person, but saying a huge no to the real reasons of her decisions and the family behind these irrational unscientific orders. Let us not be blinded by her sweet words and her fake passion. Contrary to her messianic zeal, Gina Lopez is not an environmental heroine but an Aquino-wealth and power feeder. Let’s not kid ourselves –the oligarchs are here to stay and they will do everything to amass wealth for themselves. I know, we will not be fooled.

Link to original

EXPOSED: Mga kapalpakan ni Gina Lopez

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Link to original

KUMAKALAT ngayon ang isang opposition paper sa confirmation sa Commission on Appointments ni Gina Lopez bilang Environment Secretary kung saan sinasabi na siya ay naglustay ng milyong-milyong piso, itinaboy ang mga katutubo mula sa kanilang lupa, walang habas na nagputol ng mga puno, at kinopo ang mga proyekto ng gobyerno para sa kapakinabangan ng mga kompanya ng kapamilya gamit ang kanyang estado bilang isang environment advocate.

Basehan nito ang iniulat ng Finance Department na aabot sa halos isang bilyong piso ang mawawalang buwis sa mga lokal na pamahalaan sa desisyon ni Sec. Gina na ipasara ang 28 mining sites sa buong bansa.

Ayon sa report, tatamaan ang kita ng 17 siyudad at munisipalidad sa 10 probinsiya ng bansa.

Lumilitaw din na panget ang track record ni Lopez sa pamamahala sa mga eco-tourism project at ilan dito ang tatlong environment project na in-award sa kanya.

May conflict of interest dahil tumayong managing director si Lopez sa ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. at Bantay Kalikasan na nagkamal ng salapi mula sa mga naturang proyekto.

Tumakbo ang mga tinukoy na proyekto ni Lopez na Sabsaban Falls Eco-tourism Project sa Palawan, La Mesa Ecopark Project sa Quezon City, at Pasig River Rehabilitation Project sa ilalim ng mga nagdaang administrasyon at nagripuhan ang kaban ng bayan ng multi-milyong piso.

Kasabay ng kumakalat na opposition paper na ito, nagpasa rin sa CA ang mga katutubo sa Surigao ng isa pang opposition paper laban kay Sec. Lopez.

Anila, maghihirap silang muli kapag ipinahinto ng kalihim ang pagmimina sa kanilang probinsiya lalo’t lumalabas na walang kahandaan ang ibang departamento ng gobyerno para matugunan ang kanilang sitwasyon na resulta ng padalos-dalos na hakbang ni Sec. Gina.

EXPOSED: Gina Lopez, her family, and their history of ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS!

Cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are deadly byproducts of the power plant. The Lopezes violated many environmental laws.

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Back in 2001, when the elite commercial and business district we now know as Rockwell was just rising from the ground, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) took the Lopezes to task for their violations of environmental laws. You see, the place where the Lopez owned district would rise was once a Meralco power plant, which was also once owned by the influential family.

Cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are deadly byproducts of the power plant. And the Lopezes, in their eagerness to provide the richest of the rich an exclusive community, violated many environmental laws just to rid of Rockwell of these hazardous refuse. Their solution? Entomb PCBs in cement and bury it in neighbouring community of San Joaquin. San Joaquin is home to low to middle income residents. And it stands on a major faultline. If struck by an earthquake, PCBs will surely leak out to the soil. In fact, even without an earthquake, PCBs may still leak out as cement is a porous material. PCBs are so toxic, even minute amounts of it can do damage to a person’s health.

Which puts to question Gina Lopez’s qualification as DENR secretary. Given her family’s history, why should we entrust this person to safeguard our environment? Will she hold her family accountable for their disregard of the safety of common folks?

Clearly, the Lopezes put on a false appearance of virtue. They act in contradiction to their stated beliefs. Incidentally, these are the definitions of the word hypocrite.

Link to original