IRRESPONSIBLE mining must stop as it is destroying the land of promise, the incoming President Rodrigo Duterte said in his speech during the "One Love, One Nation #DU31 Thanksgiving Party" evening of Saturday, June 4.

Speaking before an estimated 300,000 people who attended the Saturday night party at the Davao Crocodile Park, Duterte dared the mining industry players in Davao to "shape up," otherwise he will force them to shift to other businesses.

"I have a big problem with mining companies, they are despoiling the land, they are destroying Mindanao, the soil of our country," he said.

He mentioned that most of the big mining companies, especially in Surigao del Norte, must stop operations.

Back in 2011, the Tribal Coalition of Mindanao filed a petition for a "Writ of Kalikasan" before the Supreme Court against the mining companies in Surigao del Norte, including Taganito Mining Corp. (TMC), Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC), Oriental Synergy Mining Corp., Shenzou Mining Group Corp and Marcventures Mining Development Corp. on grounds of "destroying and polluting the ancestral domain by failing to provide proper siltation venues for their nickel mines, thereby irreversibly damaging marine resources, mangroves, corals and creating serious health risks to the tribes and inhabitants of the provinces of Surigao del Norte and even Surigao del Sur."

But in an en banc resolution dated June 28, 2011, the SC resolved to remand the Petition for a Writ of Kalikasan with prayer for Temporary Environmental Protection Order (Tepo) to Court of Appeals in Cagayan de Oro City, saying the petition "does not demonstrate sufficient factual and legal allegations, as well as evidentiary support required under the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases."

This can all change with the new administration.
Duterte reiterated his stand that he is not against mining for as long as it upholds the most stringent of environmental standards and requirements.

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