DAVAO CITY – President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday night said big mining, particularly in Surigao del Norte, has to stop.
“They have to stop,” Duterte said before some 200,000 people who attended the thanksgiving party held at the Crocodile Park here.
“Mining people must shape up. Most of what you do today, especially in Surigao, is dig holes. And they are destroying Mindanao, and they are only a few (who operate) who are from Manila,” he said.
As an alternative, Duterte said he will have all Filipino mining workers organized into a cooperative and “give them instructions on how not to end up spoiling the land.”
“Lahat ng mining na malalaki na sumisira, they have to stop,” he said.
Duterte said this was the reason he did not give the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) portfolio to Leoncio Evasco, his national campaign manager.
Evasco, a former political detainee, was once a city administrator of Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City.
Duterte said Evasco wanted to be DENR secretary, but he did not give it to the mayor of Maribojoc town in Bohol, because he needed someone from the military.
He said he expected resistance from mining firms, and that someone from the military as DENR secretary could rally government soldiers in implementing Duterte’s order.
“The problem with DENR is that I have a big problem with mining companies. They are destroying the soil,” he said, adding that he has “to use the military” against it.