Green group decries police ‘blame game’ for grenade attack on Philex office

AN ENVIRONMENTAL partylist condemned Pasig City Police Chief Senior Supt. Alfredo Calama-an for his irresponsible and reckless statement pinpointing anti-mining activists as possible suspects in the recent grenade attacks against Philex Mining’s main office in Pasig City.

“Supt. Calama-an should not make a scapegoat out of anti-mining activists for his and his police force’s incompetence in protecting civilians and institutions against violence and terror in Pasig City. This evil insinuation of Supt. Calama-an is most likely a part of the PNP and Philex Mining’s script to blame anti-mining activists to ‘justify’ the further crackdown and killings of people and groups opposed to destructive large-scale mining projects and operations which Philex exemplifies,” says Clemente G. Bautista, President of Kalikasan Partylist.

Supt. Calama-an said in his initial investigation that possible perpetrators of the attack were anti-mining activists and disgruntled workers of Philex Mining. Owned by tycoon Manny Pangilinan, Philex is the biggest mining company in the country which has large-scale mining operations and project in Zamboanga, Negros, Benguet, Surigao del Norte and other provinces.

Based on the monitoring of environmental activist group Kalikasan PNE, 18 anti-mining activists killed under the Aquino administration. 28 more were killed during the Arroyo administration. Under both administrations, mining liberalization was strongly implemented.

“The second attack is highly suspicious and is likely to have been staged. It makes us wonder how, after the first grenade attack just a month ago, Philex and the police did not improve their security practices. Does the headquarters of the biggest mining company and the richest man in the Philippines have no security camera to capture footage of these two attacks, which both happened in front of their building?” Bautista said.

“Supt. Calama-an should first investigate Philex Mining and its security forces, its record of human violations, environmental crimes, and labor exploitation. These are the main reasons why Philex is hated not only as one of the top human rights violators, but also as among the top environmental despoilers in the country. It is possible that the grenade attacks are just publicity stunts of Philex to blame others for its violations,” he said.

“If Supt. Calama-an can not investigate this properly and solve this crime, the PNP should rid its ranks of incompetent and pea-brained police chiefs by sacking Supt. Calama-an. Records show that people were killed and institutions were robbed in Pasig City in broad daylight, and the PNP has been unable to stop or resolve these cases,” he said.

Other incidents of big crimes which happened in Pasig City under Calama-an’s term were the bloody robberies at Robinson Mall and bank earlier this March and June.

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