October 2, 2012. Intramuros, Manila. CBCP conference discusses results of an independent investigation into the Philex mine spill incident in Padcal, Benguet (see articles below).
*DECOMMISSION PHILEX TP3 AND JUSTLY COMPENSATE, REHABILITATE AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
''BAGUIO CITY—In a media briefing today the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and Amianan Salakniban and KATRIBU Partylist called for the immediate decommissioning of Philex's Tailings Pond 3, and for rehabilitation and just compensation be urgently carried out for affected communities like Itogon, Tuba, and communities downstream of the Agno River, such as Pangasinan, which hosts the San Roque Dam.
"These are our urgent demands. We are also challenging Philex to cooperate, be transparent and immediately open its mining compound and allow concerned organizations like CPA, including the media, to conduct independent fact finding and environmental investigation. With its own disclosure of 20 million metric tons (MMT) of mine tailings released from TP3 since the breach was first reported, the DENR should immediately conduct tests and analyse the samples it obtained, disclose the process and publicise the chemicals present," said CPA deputy secretary general Santos Mero. DENR earlier disclosed it chemical testing was not done because its machine broke down, but this is not an excuse...''
*CSOS RELEASE RESULTS OF INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION ON PHILEX'S TAILINGS SPILL
October 2, 2012
''On September 16-17, 2012, a fact-finding mission team, lead by the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA) and the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines (CCCP) together with representatives from Philippine-Misereor Partnership and its Northern Luzon Cluster, Caritas Baguio, Cordillera People's Alliance, Peace Foundation, Pambansang Kaisahan ng mga Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Katribu Indigenous Peoples' Partylist, and Community Volunteer Missioners,conducted an independent investigation on the reported mining tailings leakage of Philex's Padcal Mine in Benguet.
The first leakage incident happened on August 1, 2012, and was immediately followed by three succeeding leakages within the same month after the mining corporation's failed attempt to plug the hole in Tailings Pond Number 3 (the only operational tailings dam in the mining site) that had been causing the spills. On August 2, 2012, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), had suspended the mining operations of Philex Mining Corp. at Brgy. Padcal in Tuba, Benguet until the safety of its dam has been assured. DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje confirmed that the suspension order remains in effect as of today...''
*FACT-FINDING MISSION CONDUCTS PROBE ON PHILEX MINES' TAILINGS POND LEAKS
18 September 2012
''...The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has earlier reported that on August 1, 2012, TP3 suffered a tailings spill where the tailings breached the lower portion of Penstock A and discharged tailings into the Balog River, a tributary of the Agno River. This was followed by three more major occurrences of tailings leaks up to August 30. The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-CAR estimated the volume of tailings discharged from August 1-14 at 6 million metric tons. To date, neither Philex mines nor the Mines and Geosciences Bureau have come out with an updated estimate on the total volume of the tailings that has already been discharged from TP3...''
*BISHOP CALLS FOR PHILEX MINE CLOSURE
''Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said it is about time for Philex Mining Corp. to end its operation to save the area from further damage.
Massive islands of rubbles and other mining waste from the Philex's tailings pond 3 in Benguet have been discovered in San Roque dam by an independent group composed of church and environment organizations investigating the waste leaks. (Photo courtesy of CBCP-NASSA)
"It should really be closed. In fact until now they can't even resolve the damaged tailings dam and they haven't totally stopped the spill," he said...''