From Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte said that the massive landslides affecting the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) during the weekend are due to mining activities in the region.
Duterte made the statement when he was in charge of a briefing on the consequences and damage of Typhoon Ompong in La Trinidad, Benguet, Monday evening.
In his remarks, Duterte quoted how the conquests of civilizations and mining activities in the Philippines have become uncontrolled.
The president also said that mining Filipino's no pain, but heartache.
"Marami tayong problema (we have a lot of problems) We have a problem with our mining industry and it has not really contributed to the national economy," he said.
"That mine has really contributed a lot of heart to the Filipino people, and it is time to take a serious look at the dangers of mining in the open air," he added.
Duterte also repeated his earlier statement that if he could, he would close all mining companies in the country. He also said that it does not matter to him whether the country loses the P70 billion in income it receives from mining.
"If I tried to do my thing, I will close all mining in the Philippines, do not forget about the P70 billion," he said.
"Of course, the Finance people are the first to object and I can understand it, because they are the men who have to find the money and beg, steal or borrow," he added.
Duterte noted, however, that it is up to Congress and not to him. He also suggested that it is now time for Mother Earth to be spared of all excavations.
"If we can not end mining because there's a law – and to end the mining industry, it's Congress that has to abolish the law," he said.
"I think we need rest – a postponement, a period of inactivity diyan sa (there in the ground) and even the watershed," he added.
Duterte added that the mining industry does nothing to help the country when a typhoon comes and causes damage.
"So if you automatically hear about a typhoon, then everything depends on the government – it's not just about mining," he said.
"Mining would be just a matter of looking, but what happens next is something to be reckoned with: death, decay, lack of food, water, shelter, health," he added.