Apr. 27, 2017: Lopez expresses dismay over effects of mining in Negros
SIPALAY CITY — Environment Secretary Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez has expressed dismay over the horrid effects of mining to the communities, including those in southern Negros.
Lopez was in Negros Island Region Tuesday, April 25, to inspect two former mining sites.
She first went to Negros Oriental to check the mining site in Basay town, and proceeded to this city in Negros Occidental. Lopez, on board a chopper, conducted an aerial inspection of the open-pit mining left by Maricalum Mining Corporation in Barangay San Jose.
Upon touchdown, the Cabinet secretary, in disgust, said “it’s horrible. Horrible!” “It looks like hell to me. Everything is horrible,” Lopez added. She said she saw “really lush” and “very beautiful” hills when the helicopter flew over the city, then felt disgust after seeing the former mining site.
She added: “From verdant hills, then this huge open pit, crazy!” Lopez, who was welcomed by Mayor Oscar Montilla, told the local chief executive that the open pit “will be there for life.”
“If anything happens here, the community will suffer,” she said, adding the mining company just “go and leave this (open-pit mine). This is social injustice.”