Press Release
June 28, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said the recent Supreme Court decision recognizing the governments authority to directly undertake mining operations in the Mount Diwalwal in Compostela Valley is detrimental to small miners if they would be driven out of the gold-rush area there.

Pimentel said the small miners should appeal the decision to the high tribunal, if necessary, to protect their rights and their means of livelihood.

The Supreme Court decision is a blow against the rights of the small miners. I suggest the lawyers of the small miners should do everything to seek a reversal of the ruling, he said.

In its decision, the high court said the mining claims of several corporations in Mount Diwalwal were rendered moot and academic with the issuance of Proclamation 297 in 2002, which declared 8,100 hectares in Monkayo, Compostela Valley as a mineral reservation and an environmentally-critical area.

Taking over mining operations, I suppose can be done legitimately by the government. But when the mining operations are done by the small miners in accordance with law that was precisely enacted as an aspect of social legislation to balance things out between the affluent miners, who were the only ones allowed by previous laws to engage in mining, and the small miners as defined in the new law, then, there appears to be an injustice here. Hence, a reconsideration is in order, Pimentel said.

Pimentel is the principal author of the law that recognizes the rights of small miners.

News Latest News Feed