Philippines’ Duterte wants mining ban, links miners to destabilization plot – by Manolo Serapio Jr and Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters U.S. – March 13, 2017)

MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday accused some miners of funding efforts to destabilize his government as he talked about a possible plan to impose a ban on mining given the environmental damage producers have caused.

Duterte, who has said the Southeast Asian nation can survive without mining, has backed a crackdown on miners by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez in the world’s top supplier of nickel ore.

Duterte said he was looking at a total mining ban “and then we’ll talk”, referring to miners. “When it comes to the preservation of my country, the land… I will do what is necessary,” Duterte told a media briefing.

“I know that some of you are giving funding to the other side to destabilize me,” he said, referring to companies in the mining sector he did not name. He did not say how his government was being destabilized, only that there could be efforts to make him “unpopular”.

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, which groups many large-scale miners, said in a statement it was “unaware of any mining company that is supportive of any destabilization efforts against the administration”.

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