No. 14041

March 13, 2014

HIS EXCELLENCY

BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO, JR.

President

Republic of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace

Manila

Dear MR. PRESIDENT:

The Cardinal, Archbishops and Bishops listed below strongly urge you not to allow Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) to mine the mountain of Tampakan, South Cotabato, for copper and gold.

Our opposition to SMI Glencore/Xstrata Copper-Gold Project is based on moral grounds, namely:

(1)  the destruction of almost 4,000 hectares of forested and agricultural land and biodiversity is against the integrity of God’s creation (cf. Gen. 2: 15);

(2)  the dislocation of almost 6,000 surface dwellers, mostly B’laans, from their ancestral land is against human right;

(3)  the threat to food security and human life through the use of cyanide and heavy metals for processing ores is very real;

(4)  the past killings and future violence as the B’laans will defend their ancestral land – source of food, building material, burial grounds of their ancestors and place of living will adversely affect peace and harmony.

(5)  Up to now SMI Glencore/Xstrata has not given any proof that open pit mining preserves the integrity of God’s creation.

The cost, Mr. President, will far outweigh the benefits to government and the Filipino people.

Praying for your God-enlightened decision,

 Orlando B. Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, D.D.        –  Archbishop of Cotabato

Archbishop Fernando R. Capalla, D.D.             –  Archbishop Emeritus of Davao

 Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, D.D.     –  Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro

Archbishop Romulo G. Valles, D.D.                    –  Archbishop of Davao

Archbishop Jesus Dosado, CICM, D.D.             –  Archbishop of Osamiz

Bishop Guillermo V. Afable, D.D.                         –  Bishop of Digos

Bishop Patricio H. Alo, D.D.                                      –  Bishop of Mati

Bishop Emmanuel T. Cabajar, CSsR, D.D.       –  Bishop of Pagadian

Bishop Jose A. Cabantan, D.D.                                 –  Bishop of Malaybalay

Bishop Romulo T. de la Cruz, D.D.                        –  Bishop of Kidapawan

Bishop Edwin A. de la Peña, MSP, D.D.               –  Bishop Prelate of Marawi

Bishop Elenito R. Galido, D.D.                                  –  Bishop of Iligan

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez, D.D.                      –  Bishop of Marbel

Bishop Martin Jumoad, D.D.                                     –  Bishop Prelate of Isabela, Basilan

Bishop Angelito Lampon, OMI, D.D.                  –  Vicar Apostolic of Jolo

Bishop Jose R. Maguiran, D.D.                                 –  Bishop of Dipolog

Bishop Wilfredo D. Manlapaz, D.D.                       –  Bishop of Tagum

Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar, D.D.                             –  Bishop of Tandag

Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, D.D.                       –  Bishop of Butuan

Bishop Julius S. Tonel, D.D.                                      –  Bishop of Ipil

Bishop Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, D.D.                    –  Auxiliary Bishop of Cotabato

Bishop George B. Rimando, D.D.                            –  Auxiliary Bishop of Davao

(Signed)

+DINUALDO D. GUTIERREZ, D.D.

Bishop of Marbel

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