Bishop links lifting of mining ban to 2022 polls

Bishop links lifting of mining ban to 2022 polls

By CBCP News

May 16, 2021

Manila, Philippines

The lifting of the ban on new mining deals is just one sign that next year’s national election is fast approaching, a Catholic bishop said.

As the Church opens the Laudato Sí Week celebration Sunday, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, administrator of the Manila archdiocese, lamented how the government allows further destruction of the environment allegedly for the sake of election funds.

“They really need the money for the elections. And these big mining firms are the ones giving away these money in exchange of getting permits,” said Pabillo in his homily at the St. Joseph Parish in Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in April, lifted the moratorium on new mining agreements imposed in 2012, reopening the door to investments.

But the move alarmed church leaders and environmental activists.

“In our current situation, it will not benefit the country, but only just a few,” Pabillo said.

The bishop warned that more mining operations also means more human rights violations against the poor communities and environmentalists.

“Mining is one of the causes of destruction of communities of lumads and the poor,” he said.

“We will again see more human rights violations, red-tagging of indigenous people, farmers, fishermen, and environmentalists that are against mining,” Pabillo added.

The Laudato Sí Week celebrates the anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical, Laudato Sí, which was issued in 2015, through prayer, education and online activities.

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