MANILA, Philippines -Below is the transcript of the heated exchange between anti-mining activist and ABS-CBN Foundation’s Gina Lopez and Philex Mining Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan.
GINA LOPEZ: Manny Pangilinan you said that the areas that are gonna be mined are ugly anyway, that is so not true. It’s not true the areas that are gonna be mined are ugly I’ll tell you about Sibuyan, Sibuyan has the world’s densest forests, the country’s cleanest inland body of water and yet the mining tenement was approved there on top of agricultural land. I have been to Brooke’s Point. I can drink the water in the river and yet the government has approved 1-B worth of mining in that place. I have all these people coming to us. So when you say that all these mining tenement places are in these areas that are ugly anyway I really think you need to go and visit it.
MANNY PANGILINAN: Regina have you been to Padcal (in Benguet Province)? Have you been to Silangan in Surigao Del Norte? Who would go there and develop a tourism site? There’s nothing there. When we, as Gerry pointed out, I wasn’t there, I think when his father entered Philex in Padcal it was deforested, denuded, since that time we’ve planted 7-M trees. We have a self-contained community, we provide free housing, free hospitals, free education up to high school, and we have a post-rehab plan, we set aside each year an amount of money because someday that mine will be closed. There’s a post-rehab plan that we have. Whether by law or not. We care about the people at the point when these guys have to fend for themselves.
GINA LOPEZ: I just want to say that maybe that place may be nice and I submit it may be nice. When you make a statement that all the areas where there’s gonna be mining is ugly anyway that’s the point.
MANNY PANGILINAN: I did not say that! Now you’re lying.
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