MANILA, Philippines – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Tuesday, July 25, renewed his commitment to strictly enforce mining and environmental regulations following President Rodrigo Duterte’s scathing remarks against mining companies during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“Mining operations found violating laws, rules, and regulations will have to pay the price for damage caused, through payment of fines, suspensions, or closure, and subject the president and each of the directors thereof responsible for the acts committed by association, corporation, or partnership to suffer the penalty of imprisonment at the discretion of the court,” Cimatu said in a statement on Tuesday.
Since taking over the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Cimatu has insisted that he will not protect the interest of big mining companies but will, instead, make sure the law is implemented.
But some environment groups continue to tag Cimatu as a “pro-mining ex-general.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment called on the President to remove Cimatu from the DENR, and to appoint a new secretary “who will go above and beyond the standards set” by Duterte’s first environment secretary, Gina Lopez.