MANILA, Philippines — Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has bared a new list of mining companies that would undergo extensive review following complaints from the indigenous people of Mindanao.
Lopez had a dialogue with the Lumads of Mindanao Sunday afternoon to hear their sentiments. “I met with them and they wanted to stop large-scale mining in their provinces. And they were very explicit to the names [of the companies],” she said.
In a phone interview with The STAR, Lopez said the Lumads revealed eight mining firms that are allegedly committing environmental and social violations. One of which is Canadian-owned TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. in Zamboanga del Norte which is being reviewed over alleged “human rights violation causing demolition and forced evacuation.”
In defense, TVI Director Kaycee Crisostomo said the issue is old news dating back in 2012 and clarified that the firm is not driving out people.
“It was the provincial government that formed a multi-agency task force dismantling the illegal small-scale mining operations and not TVI,” he said in a separate interview.
Other companies mentioned are St. Augustine Gold & Copper Ltd. in Compostela Valley because of militarization and San Roque Metals Inc. in Agusan del Norte due to siltation and land grabbing complaints.
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