Sumitomo Mining Corporation, Taganito Mining Corpoporation and Platinum Gold Metal Corporation punished!

Maria Malaya
04 October 2011

The NDFP-NEMR confirms the steps taken on October 3, 2011 to destroy the mining facilities and equipment of three giant mining companies in Claver, Surigao del Norte, which are the Tag-anito High-Pressure Acid Leaching (THPAL-Sumitomo), Tag-anito Mining Corporation (TMC), and the Platinum Gold Metal Corporation (PGMC), in the implementation of the policy of the revolutionary movement related to the protection of the environment and natural resources and the defense of the rights of the Lumad people, peasants, and workers. The company-size armed security guards of the company offered no resistance, many of them escaped. Those left were disarmed by The NPA.

The giant Tag-anito Mining Corporation (TMC) is one of three mining companies of the Nickel Asia Corporation in Surigao del Norte owned by Manny Zamora. The TMC has ravaged the area for nearly 30 years, and, within that time, has immensely destroyed the environment of the province. It has ruined both fresh water and marine sources, devastated mountains, violated the rights of the Lumad people, and displaced the livelihood of peasants. The said company is also active in the exploitation and repression of the rights of the workers. Instead of remitting Php 400 million in taxes to the LGU, through sheer bribery, the company is now only paying the local government Php 40 million. It is only right to punish this company.

The Platinum Gold Metal Corporation (PGMC) is mining nickel ore for foreign buyers with a permit to operate under the name of Mr. Atayde, but is currently operated by one Mrs. Tata Dasmarinas Marahomsar. Millions of tons of nickel ore have already been plundered and shipped to imperialist countries, which has resulted in the total effacement of forest and mountains within its concession, as well as the destruction of rivers and seas. Almost all workers in this company are under contract-basis, and the company is brazenly violating even basic bourgeois labor laws. It has also violated the rights of the Lumads. It is only right that its operations must stop.

This gigantic Tag-anito High-Pressure Acid Leaching Plant (THPAL), which processes nickel, is principally owned by the Japanese imperialist Sumitomo Mining Corporation, which is in cahoots with the Nickel Asia Corporation owned by Manny Zamora. Contrary to its claim that the processing plant is not a hazard, the truth is, it is a menace to the population and the environment. First, it uses, in massive quantities, sulfuric acid that is highly toxic to both humans and the environment. Second, this is a coal-fired plant that spews out tons upon tons of highly toxic fumes into the atmosphere. Third, the said plant only processes millions of tons of low-grade nickel ore coming from different mines from the four provinces of Caraga, as they prefer to export high grade nickel ore to foreign countries. At the rate they are currently mining both low and high grade nickel ore, in the next few decades, if left unabated, the environment in the region will completely be destroyed. The big bourgeois compradors and the imperialists have already denuded our forests and mountains, and now they are out to totally wreak havoc on what has remained of our environment with their indiscriminate mining operations.

Token immediate benefits, such as limited employment, miniscule taxes given to the LGU, alms to the Lumads, and other enticements, from the company cannot restore the irreparable widespread damage it will cause to the environment and to the general interests of the Lumad peoples, peasants, and workers in Caraga. Within the last five decades, foreign capitalists have been proclaiming that logging will bring people prosperity, but now we bear witness to how they have destroyed our forests and mountains that resulted in the ruin of the environment, incessant calamities, further impoverishment to the people that benefit only big capitalist compradors and imperialists such as the Japanese. And now we are again about to be deceived by these companies, gloating that mining can bring development. True, development for the imperialist Japanese and big bourgeois compradors such as Manny Zamora and their local lackeys, but abject misery for majority of the people.

The US-Aquino regime and its agencies such as the DENR-MGB, NCIP and other national agencies, including the local government units in the provinces and municipalities, have conspired to establish these giant mining companies, with utter disregard of the damage it can inflict to the environment and to the people of Caraga region; even if foreign interests clearly trample upon our sovereignty and patrimony in exchange for bribes, and incommensurate taxes. The AFP and PNP have ensured that these giant companies are protected from the resistance and struggle of the people of Caraga.

Only the revolutionary movement can protect the country from the big bourgeois compradors’ and imperialists’ wanton plunder of our natural resources and from the unrestrained destruction of the environment in the region. It is only the revolutionary movement that we can rely on to defend the rights of the Lumad people. We can only rely on the Revolution against the dislocation and harm caused against peasants and against the intense exploitation and repression of workers in Caraga.

The revolutionary movement is not opposed to development if it genuinely promotes lasting benefit to the people, if this mining of our natural resources will result in establishing national industrialization. But, we are aware that it is the greedy will of the bourgeois compradors and the imperialists for the country to remain as source and exporter of raw materials like nickel ore, and, in so doing, perpetuate our dependence on finished products from imperialist manufacturing. THPAL’s production of nickel is still raw material production for export to imperialist countries.

In the interest of the greater masses of the people and in line with the national policy on mining, the revolutionary movement is open to talks with any mining company, whether foreign or local, large or small scale, under the condition that such a company is willing to fully recognize and comply with revolutionary policies. On the other hand, we warn other giant mining companies that the revolutionary movement is determined to defend the interest of people, including that of the environment. We also warn contractors who are working for these abusive giant companies that we will not hesitate to disable their mining equipment if they refuse to terminate their contracts with said companies.