Heavy destruction from the invasion of 3 the illegal Chinese Giants in Sta Cruz, Zambales
It's not only Bajo de Masinloc (Panatag/Scarborough Shoal) that the Chinese have occupied. They also have grabbed a slice of mainland Zambales, 108 kilometers east. There Chinese miners rule, stealing nickel ore the same way they poach fish in the shoal. Bribed local officials abet them like modern-day Makapili collaborators.
In the West Philippine Sea-side Sta. Cruz municipality, Zambales, operate three Chinese conglomerates:
- Jiangxi Rare Earth & Metals Tungsten Group,
- Wei-Wei Group, and
- Nihao Mineral Resources Inc.
Through Filipino dummies they have set up five supposed "minahang bayan (small-scale mines)." The five load ore and unload equipment in one common pier, betraying the fact that they actually are one.
Republic Act 6082: "Section 1. There is hereby created in the Department of Justice a board which shall be designated and known as the Anti-Dummy Board and which shall be vested with and shall exercise the powers and duties hereinafter.
Anti dummy law protects the Philippines from unlawful use and exploitation having in its name or under its control, a right, franchise, privilege, property or business, the exercise or enjoyment of which is expressly reserved by the Constitution or the laws to citizens of the Philippines for at least at least 60% of the capital of which is owned by such citizens and maximum of 40% for a foreign investors but the Chinese mining firm paid the local people as dummy to virtually own the 60% while controlling 100% full real ownership. Section 3. - Any corporation or association violating any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon proper court proceedings, be dissolved and offering rewards 25% to the informer in Section 3-A. If dummy will come out they would have a chance to own 25% of these whole Chinese illegal investment and 75% would be turnover to the government.
The five machinate under cover of the People's Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991. Such wee mines are for subsistence quarrymen who use only brawn, mini-crushers, hand picks, and shovels. Anything but puny, the five Chinese fronts use sophisticated excavators, drills, crushers, and explosives. With the heavy ordnance, they level mountains for tens of thousands of tons of nickel ore a day. (A small-scale mine is limited to only 50,000 tons in its lifetime.)
Residents of Sta. Cruz cry that the Chinese mines have denuded the forest watersheds, and poisoned farmlands, rivers, sea, and air. Townsfolk of adjacent Masinloc, Zambales, and Infanta, Pangasinan, also suffer. Muddied coastal waters drive small fishermen farther out to sea. But in the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc, Chinese warships shell them back to shore.
The Philippines is now China's main source of nickel. The five Chinese mines in Sta. Cruz contribute a sizeable portion. Although no exact figures can be obtained – small-scale mines operate under local government licenses, beyond the scope of the Mines & Geosciences Bureau – locals observe at the common wharf the departure of four ore-laden Chinese bulk carriers per week. China processes the nickel into hi-tech weapons and surveillance systems – to sabotage the Philippine military and economy into submission.
The Sta. Cruz-Masinloc-Infanta highway is called the "dump truck capital of the Philippines." Thousands of trucks' tailpipe emissions and ore-load dust pollute the air to alarming levels. Field monitors of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources reported on Nov. 15, 16, and 27, 2012, suspended particulates of 208, 727, and 824 micrograms per cubic meter, respectively, on the highway. Maximum tolerable is 90.
So in the barrios of Sta. Cruz, residents suffer acute respiratory infections – their top cause of morbidity. From 2001 to 2011, rural health workers noted an increasing incidence of 4,500 to 8,500 new cases per 100,000-population per year. Yet the Chinese mines have not improved local household incomes. (The entire mining industry has the highest poverty incidence.)
Health and environment ruin are accompanied by economic and political decay. By disguising as small-scale mines, the five Chinese thieves are able to skirt the stringent rules on the big ones. Provincial business permits can be obtained within days for as low as ₱10,000, and environmental clearances for ₱15,000, unlike the years-long wait for biggies to be scrutinized. Because virtually unregulated, the five Chinese mines pay no taxes, duties, fees, or royalties – for at least the sickened townsfolk's medical expenses. Provincial officials justify their localized exactions by pointing out that local governments do not get shares of central government revenues from big miners. (In 2011 the DENR reported that three million tons of Philippine mineral ores that were processed in China were unaccounted for by trade and Customs authorities.)
The mayors of Sta. Cruz, Masinloc, and Infanta profess to oppose the Chinese mines. That the latter continue to operate raises suspicion that the provincial capitols of Zambales and Pangasinan go over the mayors' heads and deal directly with pliant barangay officials. Either that or somebody's lying. The mayor of Infanta was murdered last December.
Bribery stories taint the Chinese mines. How they get away with their destructive ways is a mystery. The Wei-Wei Group entered Botolan, Zambales, in 2005 via a rushed approval during the Arroyo tenure. It came right after then-President Gloria Arroyo allowed China illegally to explore Philippine waters, under a secret, treasonous Joint Seismic Marine Understanding. Wei-Wei later barged into Sta. Cruz-Masinloc-Infanta.
The Jiangxi Group joined in partnership with a Nihao Minerals subsidiary. Officers of Nihao and affiliate Geograce Resources Inc. were involved in the illegal grant to ZTE International Corp. in 2005 of mining rights in the gold rush area of Mount Diwalwal, Compostela Valley in Mindanao Island.
With report Jarius Bondoc Opinion published from philSTAR