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Naga farmers group doubtful Cimatu can solve mining woes

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The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in Naga City isn’t entirely convinced that newly-appointed Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu can bring about positive change to the mining industry.

KMP Secretary-General Antonio Flores, in a Brigada News FM Naga interview Wednesday (May 10), said he doesn’t see the mining industry changing under the watch of Cimatu, who is a former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief.

What would cure the system according to Flores is the junking of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. The Act, he claims, allows foreign entities to monopolize control on the local industry.

The KMP official further underscored the need to pass the proposed People’s Mining Bill.

Cimatu took over the reigns from Gina Lopez, who was recently rejected by the 25-member Commission on Appointments (CA) for the DENR post.

Flores said that the CA’s denial of Lopez and the subsequent entry of Cimatu merely served those involved in destructive mining activities by allowing them to regroup.

Lopez aggressively went after such firms during her short tenure.