The Final Verdict

RRPP Income from 2005 to 2012

RRPP Income from 2005 to 2012

RRPP Income in 2012

RRPP Income in 2012





































































60 Finale

60 Finale

RRPP Income and Taxes in 2011

RRPP Income and Taxes in 2011

RRPP Income and Taxes in 2010

RRPP Income and Taxes in 2010


“I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and you made my inheritance detestable.” (Jeremiah 2:7)

We, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF), express alarm over the wanton abuse of natural resources by the Transnational Mining Corporations (TNCs) with their local cohorts in South Luzon Region, especially in Bicol. The experience of the Bicolano people is no different from the plight of local communities in mining areas throughout the country: massive environmental destruction, shrinking economic base of the people, militarization of mining communities, displacement of communities due to land-grabbing and unjust land-conversion, gross human rights violations, destruction of flora and fauna, and further impoverishment of the country. The unresolved and ever continuing polymetallic mining operations in Rapu-Rapu Island, Albay, Labo, Paracale, and Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, the aggressive mine expansion in Aroroy, Masbate by Filminera Resources Corp., the peculiar magnetite off-shore mining in Camarines Sur by Bogo Mining Resources Corp; the Palanog Cement Plant in Albay, Panganiban and San Andres, Catanduanes, and the deeper quagmire of maldevelopment of mining in Matnog, Sorsogon challenge us to rethink our role as responsible God’s stewards of creation ( Genesis 1: 26-31 ).

Destructive mining is blatantly unethical, unjust, and senseless for it exacerbates poverty, causes dislocation of livelihood of the people, and even threatens the base of life and life itself.

It is lamentable that the national government equates TNC mining with development, and is remiss in its duties in protecting the environment to the detriment of the people. It has been proven that the negative costs of mining operations far outweigh the gains.

Thus, to further liberalize the mining industry in favour of the mining corporations as being trumpeted by the Aquino administration will mean more suffering and death, dislocation, displacement and ruin of the environment.

Hence we call on the Filipino people:

1. To oppose all destructive mining operations, both locally or foreign-owned;

2. To scrap the Mining Act of 1995;

3. To demand immediate moratorium of large scale mining

4. To demand the demilitarization of mining communities

5. To fight for justice and integrity of creation;

6. To pass the HB 4315 or the Peoples’ Mining Bill

We urge our churches and faith-based groups and institutions to pursue organizing, awareness building, and other relevant activities, and be in full solidarity with the people’s movement against destructive mining operations.

With the liberating power of the Holy Spirit, we seek strength and wisdom to carry this task of asserting the right of the earth to survive and all that dwell therein.

Ecumenical Bishops Forum

October 6, 2011

DA Reports Rise in Fish Catch But Not in Albay Gulf

In the July 12-18, 2011 issue of Diario Veritas, the Department of Agriculture reported:

Nahilingan nin senyales nin pag-asenso an sector nin pagsisira sa paagi kan pagiging aktibo kan mga regional fishing ports sa primerong quarto kan taon.

Ipinahayag nin Rodolfo Paz, an general manager kan Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), an mga dakop kan sira an nagtaas nin maabot sa 93 porsyento sa Navotas, Iloilo, asin Sual, Pangasinan.

Siring man an nanotaran sa Davao Fish Port Complex na nagkaigwa man na 40% na pagdakul nin dakop kumparadosa dakop kan mga parasira sa kaparehong peryodo kan nakaaging taon.

Katakod kaini, pinag-engganyar kan DA an gabos na local na gobyerno sa nasyon na pakusugon an industriya nina pagsisira partikular sa aspeto kan environmental protection asin pagbukod sa mga ilegal na mga parasira.

Nakaabot kaya an report sa DA na rampante an paggamit nin mga dinamitakan mga parasira sa nagkakapirang kostal na lugar kan nasyon kun saen saro kan naunambitan digdi iyo an rehiyon Bikol.

At least two points are implied in this report. First, there are rises in fish catch in several areas of the country but not in Albay Gulf. Second, the DA blames all declines in fish catch on environmental degradation “and” illegal fishing.

On the first implication: Why is there no report of any rise in fish catch in Albay Gulf? The answer is obvious: there is in fact a precipitous decline as attested to by fishermen. A 95% decline has been reported here since 2005 the same year when Lafayette went into full operation. Why is there such a decline? We have referred that question to the DA and its line bureau BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources) but no answer has ever been given. (They have not even reported any investigation conducted on the cause of death of a 15-meter sperm whale in 2010.)

We have ascribed the decline to mining in Rapu-Rapu from which flow several creeks that are discolored. Officials of Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project reply that fish catch decline is a global phenomenon (technical meeting on April 26, 2011 in EMB). Now, we have here a rebuttal to that defense - the DA report of fish catch rise in at least four areas. Fish catch decline is not a global phenomenon.

On the second implication: Since DA reports rises in fish catch in four areas of the country and calls for curtailment of illegal fishing, then it follows that after curtailing illegal fishing we can observe a rise in fish catch. In Albay Gulf, the Bantay Dagat, a local watch group against illegal fishing, has been very active in this campaign. However, the fish catch decline continues. Couple this observation with the fact that the DA confirms the presence of a fish sanctuary in Gaba Bay, Villahermosa, Rapu-Rapu . With a fish sanctuary and active campaign against illegal fishing, fish population should increase within one or two seasons but this does not happen. Hence, illegal fishing cannot be the cause. Again, we are led to the more obvious – the mining operation in Rapu-Rapu.

It should be pointed out that much of the fish catch in the past according to fishermen consisted of migratory fish from the Pacific Ocean – yellowfin tuna, kwaw, malasugi, tanguigue, sharks, etc. These species do not need the local breeding grounds in Albay Gulf to multiply. They spawn in the areas around Guam and come to Albay Gulf to feed seasonally. They pass through the gap between Rapu-Rapu and Prieto Diaz following the current. Since 2005, the catch of these species has consistently declined. Something is barring their path in that gap and that something is none other than the contamination of silt and heavy metals flowing from the mine site through the creeks and ultimately to the waters around Rapu-Rapu. The current carries the contaminants into the Albay Gulf and spreads them as the tide flows back out into the Philippine Sea.

Any way we look at the phenomenon in Albay Gulf, the glaring fact is that mining has adversely affected our food supply. Between fishing where we derive 100% of the benefits and Rapu-Rapu mining where were derive only 1/3 of 1% (according to the statement of Gov. Joey Salceda in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on March 28, 2011), we have to choose the former.

The same issue of Diario Veritas banners the headline “City secures fish trade.” It reports the plan of the Legazpi City Council “to beef up the local fishing industry through stern legislation . . . Councilor Carlos Ante had already invited the different leaders of the local fisher folk to lay out details of a proposed ordinance to secure their livelihood.” I laud the efforts of the good councilor. However, I suggest that a more comprehensive view of the problem be taken if it is ever intended to be solved. As management theory suggests, any solution should address the real cause of the problem. Limiting the analysis within the immediate vicinity of the city’s coastal waters will lead to a failure at solution.

Not too long ago, we learned that several city councilors led by then Mayor Noel Rosal visited the Rapu-Rapu mine. In the newsletter of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Foresight, he was quoted as follows: “The mine is full of promise for the province” (Pages 9 and 11). I wrote Hon. Rosal in November 2010 (by then he had become the City Administrator) attaching photographs of the creeks colored brown, red, yellow and orange. I asked if the tour guides brought his group to the creeks. It’s September 2011 and I still have to receive a reply. I also wrote to MGB V and EMB V. Both replied that the contamination in the creeks is within “tolerable levels.”

RRMI, RRPI, LG, Kores and MSC should not think that they have succeeded in convincing the local community in their claim that the mine is operated responsibly and that the benefits they have derived translate to sustainable development of the people. The condition of the creeks, the fish catch decline and the poverty prevailing in the island all speak eloquently of the truth. Environmental damage and economic injustice have worsened. Adding insult to injury, they have praised themselves through press releases about their environmental awards while the residents of Rapu-Rapu and the fishermen of Albay Gulf continue to suffer. The contamination in the creeks may be within “tolerable levels” in the standards of the DENR but the poverty of the island residents, the fish catch decline and the environmental damage are definitely intolerable in the standards of the local community.

The DA, BFAR, DENR, Legazpi City Council, other local government units and other authorities better look into Rapu-Rapu mining honestly if they really want to solve the problem of fish catch decline in Albay Gulf. Anything less than that would not be in keeping with the public trust reposed in them.

September 4, 2011

Giving some; taking so much

Giving some; taking so much

Mining Engineers’ Conference in Legazpi City blind to local residents’ plight!

On July 13 to 15, 2011 some 300 mining engineers converged in Legazpi City for their Bicol regional conference. This event is unfortunate because it projects the impression that mining engineers are blind to the plight of their fellow Filipinos suffering from the environmental damage and economic injustice wrought by mining companies.

We remind the Provincial Government of Albay about the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution 2011-020 issued on March 8, 2011 banning all future mining activities in the province. It should have shown consistency by expressing disfavor against the convention.

We rebuke the City Government of Legazpi for going against the sentiments of Albayanos against the continued destruction of our environment. The city has recently manifested its inability to walk the talk. In Mount Bariw, Barangay Estanza, a large swath of hillside is severely denuded yet it has done nothing. The silt from the denudation has flowed to Barangay Pinaric where it is several inches thick. In Embarcadero, large volumes of floating garbage greet the citizens whenever they go for a leisurely stroll along the boulevard. The city government has been so preoccupied with pleasing tourists but compromised the welfare of local residents who voted them into office and pay millions in taxes. Tourists bring in income but that income is just a means towards providing better living conditions for local residents. The means cannot be exchanged for the end. If the welfare of citizens is disadvantaged by the city government’s preoccupation with pleasing tourists, then it is time to withdraw the trust reposed in them during election.

The hosting of the mining engineers’ convention in Legazpi is a misstep of the city government. It betrays a failure to understand genuine environmental advocacy. While the city brags about its sanitary landfill, it fails to prove its pro-environment agenda by making a prominent endorsement of mining as a stimulant of progress. While we need products derived from mining, we insist that it should be done in the right place and the right manner. That is what responsible mining is all about. So far, however, all claims of responsible mining by many companies are nothing but hot air because of the evident damage wrought on their surroundings like what is happening in Rapu-Rapu, Aroroy, Palanog, Matnog, Paracale, Catanduanes, Caramoan, etc.

They say, if we do not want mining then we should not use the products of that industry. They are dead wrong. We want mining that does not destroy the environment. We want mining that reserves the natural resources of the Philippines for Filipinos. We want mining that spreads the fruits of development to the masses and not only to the foreign investors and their local junior partners.

We want mining that does not sacrifice our agriculture so that we protect our own food supply. Mining generally provides for non-basic needs while agriculture produces our most basic needs like food, clothing, shelter and livelihood. While mining generates a few temporary jobs, agriculture provides long-term sources of income thus genuinely assuring sustainable development.

We call on all mining engineers to support our notion of genuinely responsible mining. In view of the bad record of mining in Bicol, we ask them not to project the impression that they condone what is happening here contrary to declarations by the DENR, MGB, EMB and companies that all is well in Bicol mining. Bicol is severely suffering from the impacts of mining and the statements of the aforementioned entities are belied when we see the plight of the farmers and fishermen and the condition of our mountains, rivers, creeks and seas.

So in their visit to Rapu-Rapu today, they should make an objective assessment on the effects of mining in the island and its residents and not make it a mere field trip. They should talk to the people to know the real impact of RRPP on their lives. They tell us nothing but misery and deepening poverty. While the project heaps billions upon the foreign investors and their local junior partners, it brings “Lilliputian” benefits to the residents of the island and severe fish catch decline in Albay Gulf on which depend some 14,000 fishermen. Today, there is no more fish to catch in the gulf.

In 2010, the project earned P11.7 billion but according to Gov. Joey Salceda himself the province got a social fund of P41.71 million or a measly one-third (1/3) of 1%! If that is not enough, one can look at the creeks flowing from the mine site to the sea. They are colored yellow, orange, red and brown.

We ask the delegates to the mining conference to wake up to realities and not be deceived by the lies of those who support mining operations in Bicol.

July 19, 2011

RRPP’s Awards - Rubbing Salt on the People’s Injury

The DENR recently awarded the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project with the Saringaya Award while the Pollution Control Association of the Philippines, Inc gave it the Mother Nature Award. RRPP also boasts of other “awards” for its alleged “safe and responsible mining” in the island. The project’s executives also claim that they have “raised” the living standards of the host communities.

As the cliché goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. One needs only to go to the island and talk to the people to know the real impact of RRPP on their lives. They tell nothing but misery and deepening poverty. While the project heaps billions upon the foreign investors and their local junior partners, it brings “Lilliputian” benefits to the residents of the island and severe fish catch decline in Albay Gulf on which depend some 14,000 fishermen. Today, there is no more fish to catch in the gulf.

In 2010, the project earned P11.7 billion but according to Gov. Joey Salceda himself the province got a social fund of P41.71 million or a measly one-third (1/3) of 1%! If that is not enough, one can look at the creeks flowing from the mine site to the sea. They are colored yellow, orange, red and brown. Challenged to prove his belief in the reports of the Multi-partite Monitoring Team by bathing in the creeks on schedules and sites set by SARA, Director Reynulfo Juan of MGB V, showed photos of people perching on rocks in the discolored creeks on dates and sites they themselves chose. Challenged by SARA to withdraw the armed CAFGUs and allow free access and surprise visits to the creeks, Engr. Rogelio Corpus, President of RRMI, replied that they cannot allow such because they “have to protect their interests.” Hence, the interests of the environment and those of RRPP are contradictory.

The executives of RRPP can go on deluding themselves with fantastic claims of “safe and responsible mining” in Rapu-Rapu but the truth is well-known to the people who suffer much from the environmental damage and economic injustice attendant to the project. The emperor’s new clothes are well-praised by the award-giving bodies. One day, the truth will prevail and the awards will instead shatter their credibility. There is time under heaven for everything, says the Bible. Today, in the island of Rapu-Rapu and villages dependent on Albay Gulf, the people are groaning in pain. The awards are salt rubbed on their wounds while RRPP’s supporters have their photo-ops and raise their toasts of wine in fine dining. We believe that the day will come when, after being denied for so long, the people shall claim justice and RRPP’s awards will go to the dustbin.

July 18, 2011

Noon at Ngayon, Walang Responsableng Dayuhang Pagmimina sa Kabikolan!

Ang nagaganap na 1st Bicol Mining Conference mula Hulyo 13-15, 2011 dito sa Bikol (La Piazza Hotel) sa pangunguna ng MGB-V/DENR-V at ng Phil. Society of Mining Engineers ay isa na namang masamang pangitain para sa mamamayang Bikolano. Pag-uusapan na naman ng ahensya ng MGB-5 at DENR-5 kasama ang mga dayuhang korporasyon sa pagmimina kung paano pa uubusin ang yamang mineral ng Kabikolan, wawasakin ang kabundukan, karagatan at kalupaan ng Bikol.

Kahiya-hiya at malakas pa ang loob na ang itinakdang tema ng kumperensyang magaganap ay: Towards Responsible Mining: “Against All Odds”. Responsable para kanino? - Para sa mga malalaki at dayuhang korporasyon sa pagmimina kasama ng mga malalaking lokal na negosyante at para sa mga matataas na opisyales ng gobyerno at ahensya na nakikipagsabwatan sa mga korporasyong ito.

Kalokohang sabihin na ang operasyon na Open Pit Mining sa Rapu-Rapu, Albay (Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project ng Lafayette/LG-Kollins) at sa Aroroy, Masbate (Masbate Gold Project ng Filminera Resources Corporation) ay responsable! Mayroon bang pagpapasabog (blasting) ng kabundukan at kalupaan na “safe and environmental friendly”? Samantalang winawasak nga at hinuhukay pailalim.

Hindi rin responsable ang Magnetite Offshore Mining ng Bogo Mining Resources Corp. sa limang bayan ng Calabanga, Sipocot, Tinambac, Cabusao at Siruma sa Camarines Sur kung saan hahalukayin ang kailaliman ng karagatan 15 kilometro mula sa baybayin nito.

Hindi kailanman naging responsable ang mga dayuhang korporasyon ng pagmimina sa mga naapektuhan ng kanilang mga operasyon. Simula ng operasyon ng RRPP sa Rapu-Rapu ay lalong lumala ang kahirapan at nagkagutom-gutom ang mga residente dito dahil sa pagbagsak ng kanilang kabuhayan sa pangingisda at pagsasaka dulot ng mga lason ng pagmimina dito. Kung mayroong nakinabang sa binayad ng RRPP na P10,862.85 (mine waste fee) para sa 217,257 tonelada na “mine waste” ay ang MGB-V. (mula sa ulat ng MGB-V,2010). Sampung libong piso! Katumbas ba ito ng isang buhay ng nanay na namatay dahil nakakain ng isda dahil sa fishkill doon o ng isang batang namatay doon dahil sa kagutuman?

Apektado na nga ang mga residente sa pagmimina sa Barangay Nakalaya, Jose Panganiban sa Camarines Norte ay naiipit pa sila ngayon sa kaguluhan at away ng Investwell Corporation at ng FMCGI ng pamilyang Fonacier na nag-aagawan ng yamang mineral ng kanilang lugar.

Kasinungalingang ipamaglaki pa sa ulat ng DENR-V/MGB-V na ang malakihang pagmimina sa Kabikolan ang nagpasigla ng ekonomiya ng rehiyon samantalang ayon sa ulat ay nasa ikalawa sa pinakamahirap na rehiyon ang Bikol sa buong bansa. Kung sinasabi na umunlad ang ekonomiya ng Bikol dahil sa malakihang pagmimina – hindi ito maramdaman ng mga mamamayang Bikolano lalo na ng mga apektado ng mapaminsala at dayuhang pagmimina.

Tanging ang mga malalaki at dayuhang korporasyon sa pagmimina kasama ng mga malalaking lokal na negosyante at mga matataas na opisyales ng gobyerno at ahensya na nakikipagsabwatan sa mga korporasyong ito ang nakikinabang sa mga produkto at kita ng pagmimina dito sa Bikol. Sa ulat ng MBG-V/DENR-V noong 2010, sa kabuuan ay may P4,654,818,424.31 at P57,483,032.45 na kita mula sa “metallic ” at “non-metallic production”dito sa Bikol ayon sa pagkasunod-sunod ngunit hindi naman inulat ang mga dambuhala at limpak na limpak na kita ng mga korporasyon na maluwag na inilalabas patungo sa kanilang bansa. Maluwag nang nailalabas ang kita, maluwag pa ang kanilang operasyon dahil sa mga iba’t-ibang insentibo tulad ng: 6 years income tax exemption, 10 years export tax exemption, and import tax exemption at marami pang iba.

Kaya nga parang parang kabuteng nagsulputan ang mga ito sa Bikol dahil sa pagiging sagana ng rehiyon sa yamang mineral at prayoridad pa ng nakaraang gobyerno ni GMA ito para sa malakihang proyektong pagmimina na ipinagpapatuloy lamang ng gobyerno ni Noynoy Aquino at pinasahol pa sa ilalim ng kanyang Public-Private Partnership Program. Gayundin, patuloy ang pag-iral ng Mining Act of 1995 kung saan ay lalong nagbuyangyang sa ating likas na yaman para dambungin at wasakin ang ating kalikasan.

“Towards Responsible Mining: Against All Odds” ? - Ang responsableng pagmimina ay mangyayari lamang sa ating bansa kung magkakaroon ng re-oryentasyon ang industriya ng pagmimina sa ating bansa. Kung saan, ang kita ng industriya ng pagmimina ay napapakinabangan at napapaunlad ang mamamayang Pilipino at hindi napupunta sa dayuhan at sa mga lokal na kasabwat nito. Kung saan, ang gobyerno ang may kontrol ng industriya at hindi ang mga dayuhan.

Hindi dayuhang pagmimina at malawakang kumbersyon ng lupa ang magpapaunlad sa Kabikolan. Hindi ito ang sagot sa kahirapan at kagutuman ng mamamayang Bikolano. Pagpapaunlad ng agrikultura, trabaho at sapat na sahod, tirahan, libreng serbisyo-sosyal ang tutugon sa kahirapan at kagutuman upang mabuhay ng maayos at marangal ang mamamayang Bikolano. Tunay na Reporma sa Lupa at Pambansang Industriyalisasyon lamang ang magpapaunlad sa bansa at rehiyon.


Hulyo 13, 2011

A Word of Caution

There is another blogsite posing as SAVE RAPU-RAPU with address (Note the DASH.) That site is a deception. Even our design is imitated. The obvious motive is to confuse our readers. Our address has NO DASH between the words "rapu" and "rapu." Our site was first posted on December 3, 2007; theirs, on April 14, 2008. Hence, we are first in going online with this URL and design. We learned about the other site only recently. The apologists of the mining operation in the island can go to this and other lengths just to sow confusion. Deceptive tactics are a disservice to readers and only reveal the desperation of the pro-Rapu-Rapu mining group. Our readers are, therefore, warned.

Matthew 7:16 - You will know them by what they do. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briers do not bear figs.

Matthew 7:20 - So then, you will know the false prophets by what they do.

The creeks are crucial to the condition of fishing grounds

around Rapu-Rapu. They connect the mine site to Albay Gulf. The current severe decline in fish catch in the gulf is blamed on the mining operation in Rapu-Rapu. The decline started in 2005 as reported by fishermen; that's the same year when Lafayette began full operation. That is also the same year when the first two major fishkills started (October 11 and 31). The toxic spills came from the mine site and reached the surrounding body of water via the creeks. The contamination in those creeks will always damage the corral reefs in Albay Gulf. The effluent coming out of the mouths of the creeks prevents the entry of migratory fish from the Pacific Ocean into the gulf.

The joke is that there will no longer be any fishkill - because there are no more fish to kill.

The fish that allegedly died off the coasts of Linao and Binosawan during the fishkill reported by island residents and the parish on May 8, 2011 could be the migratory species from the Pacific Ocean attempting to enter Albay Gulf via the gap between Rapu-Rapu and Prieto Diaz. Linao is a village facing the ocean and Binosawan, the gap.

The MGB V Photographs and "Bathing" in the Creeks of Rapu-Rapu

MGB V Director Reynulfo A. Juan wrote to SARA Spokesperson Virgilio S. Perdigon, Jr. on April 15, 2011:

"With reference to your challenge to take a bath in the creeks, we have done just that. some members of the MMT and personnel of Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project (RRPP) went to a picnic and took a bath at Pagcolbon Creek on March 29 and April 3, 2011. We are attaching pictures for your reference. These pictures indicate the current status of the creeks."

In reply, Mr. Perdigon writes:

The good Director says he believes the contamination data but he is not among those “bathing.” Someone is shown sitting on the rocks (obviously not bathing) but the face is not recognizable (number 10).


Perching not bathing: The people in the creeks are not actually in contact with the water. They are perching on rocks instead, obviously avoiding the effluent.


Hidden feet and rubber boots: The feet of the men in blue overalls are almost all hidden from the camera but obviously not immersed in water. Still, two photos show that they are wearing what appears to be rubber boots, another evidence of avoidance.

Vegetation avoids water: The photos show that green vegetation is distant from the water while vines that are in contact with it are brown, leafless and (as they appear in the photos) dead.














Standing not bathing: The people shown to be at the mouth of one creek are also not bathing but standing. Since they were photographed at a great distance, MGB V fails to prove that they are not wearing rubber boots.


What creek picnic? A group of men seated around some food are not bathing. They do not appear to be anywhere near the creeks. Instead they are in a parking lot as indicated by the pickup truck in the background.


Bathing not in creeks: The people shown to be bathing are not doing so in the creeks but far out in the sea whose location is not verified. We cannot tell how long they stayed in the seawater.
In contrast to those of MGB V, the following photographs of a clean creek at the foot of Mayon Volcano show very close affinity of the vegetation to the water and even the rocks.
In healthy creeks like those in Mayon Volcano: the leaves mingle with the water and the creek beds are green with moss.
While this Mayon creek is almost crystal clear, yellowish coloration is evident in the creeks emanating from the mine site in Rapu-Rapu photographed by MGB V. The MMT report is silent about results of sampling for heavy metals and freshwater organisms. Allowing us free access and surprise visits would have revealed if there are even snails in the creeks. The armed guards under the Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) base are very strong evidence that something is being hidden in the Rapu-Rapu creeks.

Then and Now: What Difference? What Improvement in the Creeks?

According to RRPP, the coloration of the creeks has improved. However, during the Technical Conference with the Environment Management Bureau Region V and Save Rapu-Rapu Alliance on April 26, Engr. Rogelio Corpus, President of RRMI, said that the difference between the pictures then and now is not significant. He requested the Presiding Officer, Engr. Henry Lopez of EMB V, for permission to present RRPP pictures taken on April 25. The RRPP pictures, however, cannot be verified independently because the mining companies do not want "free access and surprise visits" to the creeks. They do not want to withdraw the armed guards "to protect their interests." As an environmentalist organization, SARA wants to protect the environment. It follows that the interests of RRPP are contrary to those of the environment.

Below, we are presenting ALL pictures in the Annex to the EMB V Investigation Report dated March 8-10, 2011. Those on the left are the pictures we have been showing to authorities which were taken from 2006 to 2009; those on the right are alleged to have been taken in the same spots on March 8 to 10, 2011 by EMB V and the mining companies. You be the judge if there is any improvement.

Pagcolbon gabion

Pagcolbon downstream gabion

Pagcolbon downstream

Pagcolbon downstream looking towards the sea

Pagcolbon shoreline

Pagcolbon downstream

Pagcolbon shoreline

Hollowstone downstream

Hollowstone shoreline

Maypajo shoreline
So, is there any significant difference then and now?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Extract from 2nd Creditors' Circular - Ferrier Hodgson

Report by Administrators - 11 March 2008
or How Dominguez and Agabin have been lying to the Filipino public all this time concerning the real financial condition of Lafayette

The Act provides that 'Excluded Employees", which includes company directors and their spouses, are each restricted to a total maximum priority claim of $2,000 for unpaid wages and $1,500 for annual leave entitlements.

Amounts owed to Excluded Employees that exceed the statutory cap for wages and superannuation and annual leave/long service leave, and all payments owing in respect of retrenchment, being redundancy and payment in lieu of notice, rank for dividend with all other unsecured creditors.

5.1.13 Partly Secured Creditors

Partly secured creditors consist of convertible note holders held by the following:

  • SEASAF LP - USD 10m
  • VS Holdings Limited - USD 3m
  • Brightyield Enterprise Limited - USD 2m

5.1.14 Ordinary Unsecured Creditors

Accounting for formal proofs of debt received to date and the Company's records, I estimate the Company's liability to unsecured creditors at $8,035,547.

This figure is subject to the receipt and adjudication of final proofs of debt from creditors.

5.1.15 Contingent Liabilities

The contingent liability refers to the amount outstanding to Leighton under a standby loan agreement and mining claims for works completed. As at the date of appointment, the outstanding debt to Leighton from RRPI was USD 4,628,206. The debt was guaranteed by the Company.

5.1.16 Omissions from Statement

Save for my previous comments regarding specific disclosures in the Statement, there are no material omissions from the directors' Statement.

5.2 Explanation for Current Financial Position

The directors' explanation for the Company's current financial position can be found at section 3.3 above.

My preliminary view is that the Company failed because of:

    • Acts of God, namely two super typhoons which severely affected the mines ability to operate;
    • Inadequate equipment due to delays in the delivery of vital machinery;
    • Poor communication between senior and local management;
    • Lack of adequate working capital.

6. Trading by Administrators

6.1 Overview

The Administrators assumed control of the Company upon appointment. It should be noted that the Administrators were only appointed to the holding company. The operational subsidiaries remained outside of formal procedures until the local management team filed for rehabilitation in the Philippines

Section 439A(4)(a) Report by Administrators

11 March 2008

Page 10

  • It is not appropriate to base an assessment of whether a company can meet its liabilities as and when they fall due on the prospect that a company might trade profitably in the future.

In summary, it is a company's inability using such resources as are available to it through the use of its as-sets, or otherwise, to meet its debts as they fall due, which indicates insolvency.

8.2.2 Preliminary Determination

Set out below is a summary of my preliminary investigations and my preliminary determination as to the Company's solvency.

Review of the Company's bank facilities, including its overdraft facility, for the period June to December 2007

The Company held four accounts with the National Australia Bank Limited. I requested the accounts to be closed with the balances to be transferred to the administration account. A total of $69,663.16 was received from the accounts.

The Company did not operate an overdraft facility on any of its accounts. The Company remained in credit during the six months prior to our appointment.

Aged Payables Review

The books and records of the Company show that the amounts due to normal trade creditors were nominal $35,547 and relatively up to date. The older invoices were dated in November 2007. This does not include the $8m Australian convertible note holders.

Further, my review indicates that creditors took the following action against the Company.

Leighton issued a default notice on 17 December 2007 against RRPI in the Philippines for USD 4,628,206. As the Company guaranteed the RRPI debt to Leighton, the directors had no alternative but to place the Company into Voluntary Administration on 18 December 2007.

No other demands were received from creditors.

Finance Commitments Review

The Company had a number of Multi Option Facilities in place with various creditors. Uncertainty surrounding the Company's financial position meant that the servicing of these facilities would be questionable.

The Company had also issued over $26m in convertible notes requiring regular servicing of interest to the note holders.

The Company had a number of finance facilities with a syndicate of banks. The exposure of the Bank syndicate to the Group at appointment had risen to circa $270m.

The Bank Group and other financiers were party to the. Company's attempts to refinance prior to the appointment and as such, made no formal demands on the Company.

Working Capital and Balance Sheet Review

The Company had net current liabilities of $86,306 and net liabilities of $10.7m as at 30 November 2007. This is prior to the imposition of the Leighton default notice on the Company's
balance sheet.

Based on the above analysis, it is my preliminary view that the Company was more likely than

not insolvent from at least 17 December 2007, when it was evident that it could not pay its liabilities as and when they fell due.

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8.4 Insolvent Trading

8.4.1 Directors' Liability

Section 588G of the Act imposes-a positive duty upon company directors to prevent insolvent trading. If a director is found guilty of an offence in contravening Section 588G, the Court may order him or her to pay compensation to the company equal to the amount of loss or damage suffered by the creditors of the company.

The Court may also impose upon the directors' one of two types of civil penalty orders. The first can include a fine not exceeding $200,000 or an order prohibiting directors from participating in the management of a company. The second, where there is criminal intent and a conviction, a director could also be imprisoned for up to five years or fined as well.

ASIC usually applies for civil penalty orders while applications for compensation payable to the company are usually made by a liquidator, or in specified circumstances a creditor. The substantive elements of Section 588G are:

  • A person must be a director of a company at a time when the company incurs a debt;
  • The company must be insolvent at that time or becomes insolvent by incurring the debt;
  • The director must have reasonable grounds for suspecting that the company is insolvent or would so become insolvent by incurring the debt;

Summarised below are the defences contained in Section S88H:

  • The directors had reasonable grounds at the time the debt was incurred to expect the company to be solvent and would remain solvent even after the debt was incurred;
  • The directors relied on another person to provide information about whether or not the company was solvent;
  • The directors were ill or for some other good reason did not take part in the management of the company;
  • The directors took reasonable steps to prevent the incurring of the debt.

A liquidator must form an opinion as to the date the Company became insolvent and determine the debts incurred from that date; thereby quantifying the loss to the Company.

As the Company was primarily an investment vehicle, it is my view that an insolvent trading action would not successful.

8.5 Director Duties

Based on preliminary investigations, I have not identified any breaches by the directors of their statutory or fiduciary duties.

9. Proposal for Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA)

9.1 Statement of Proposed DOCA

It is proposed that the Company enter into a Deed of Company Arrangement with the following material provisions:

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  • Roderick John Sutton and Peter Damien McCluskey of Ferrier Hodgson, Level 29, 600 Bourke Street , in the State of Victoria are to be the joint and several administrators of the proposed Deed of Company Arrangement ("the Deed") for the Company ("the Deed Administrators");
  • The Deed Administrators will endeavour to maintain the corporate shell in order that it can be sold (subject to shareholder meetings approving the restructuring);
  • The Deed Administrators will undertake a sale process and invite expressions of interest to recapitalise the corporate shell;
  • Following receipt by the Deed Administrators of any monies from the sale of the corporate shell, the Deed Administrators shall be authorised to deduct from such monies any further costs and expenses incurred by the Deed Administrators (either in their capacity as Deed Administrators or when acting as Voluntary Administrators) of or incidental to getting in that amount in priority to any other creditor;
  • The Deed Administrators will create a fund (''the Fund") for the payment of participating creditors' claims. The Fund shall comprise the realisation, and conversion to cash, of all assets of the Company plus any amount received from the sale of the corporate entity.
  • The fund will be paid to creditors in accordance with section 556 of the Corporations Act.
  • The Deed will terminate when the Fund has been disbursed in full to creditors or otherwise in accordance with schedule 8A of the Corporations Regulations;
  • The Deed Administrators shall be indemnified by the Company against any liability arising from their administration of the Deed, other than such liability as may be attributable to any negligence, default, breach of duty, or breach of trust on their part;
  • All creditors must accept any entitlements payable under the Deed in full satisfaction and complete discharge of all debts and claims which they have or claim to have against the Company as at the date of the appointment of the Administrators and all debts and claims within the meaning of s. 553 of the Corporations Act 2001 will be discharged by the operation of the Deed and each of them will, if called upon to do so, execute and deliver to the Company such forms of release of any such claims that is required;
  • During the term of the Deed control of the Company shall remain with the Deed Administrators; and
  • The remuneration of the Deed Administrators is to be approved by the creditors.The remuneration of the Administrators and their partners and staff shall be calculated with reference to the scale of rates adopted by Ferrier Hodgson for insolvency work from time to time plus GST (in accordance with the schedule attached) and the Administrators shall be entitled to be reimbursed for all expenses and other expenses incurred by them in the administration of this Deed.

9.2 Key Commercial Features

The proposed DOCA includes the following key commercial features:

A DOCA would allow for the sale of the corporate shell, which may generate a return for creditors. A sale of the corporate shell would not be available to a liquidator.

There are no expected recoveries to be made by a liquidator, resulting from unfair preference, uncommercial transactions or breaches of director duties; therefore there is no commercial benefit to creditors from this course of action.

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10. Creditors' Options, Dividend Estimates and Cost Estimates

Pursuant to Section 439A(4)(b) of the Act, I am required to provide creditors with a statement setting out my opinion on whether it is in the creditors' interests for the:

  • Administration to end;
  • Company to be wound up;
  • Company to execute a DOCA.

In forming my opinion, it is necessary to consider an estimate of the dividend creditors might expect, and the likely costs, under each option.

10.1 Administration to End

Creditors may resolve that the administration should end if it appears the Company is solvent or, for some other reason, control of the Company should revert to its directors.

Based on my preliminary investigations and analysis of the Company's financial information, the Company is insolvent. There appears no valid commercial reason why control of the company should revert to its directors.

If the administration were to end, there is no mechanism controlling an orderly realisation of assets and distribution to creditors. I am unable to say what the Company might ultimately pay creditors or what costs it might incur.

Therefore, my opinion is that it is not in the creditors' interest for the administration to end. It is appropriate that the Company's affairs be dealt with under Part 5.3A of the Act under one of the options detailed in Section. 10.2 or 10.3 below.

10.2 Winding up of Company

Based upon the information in this report, where the Company is wound up, I estimate that a dividend will not be payable to any class of creditor.

10.3 Execution of Proposed DOCA

At present it is impossible to calculate the likely return to secured creditors, as the sale of the corporate shell will be sold to the highest bidder (subject to shareholder approval). At the date of this report, no expressions of interest have been received.

Due to the extent of secured creditors, there will be no dividend paid to unsecured creditors.

11. Administrators' Opinion

As stated in section 10.1 above, the option of the administration ending is clearly not viable. The only remaining options available to creditors are to wind up the Company or accept the proposed DOCA.

Although I am unable to provide a reliable estimate of the return to secured creditors under the proposed DOCA, I believe that it provides the opportunity to exceed the estimated return under a winding up of the Company.

The proposed DOCA is likely to provide a better return to creditors because:

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  • Funds from the sale of the corporate shell under the proposed DOCA would not otherwise be available to creditors in a winding up of the Company;
  • In a liquidation, recoveries from the voidable and other transactions referred to in Section 8 of this report are unlikely;

Based on the above, it is my opinion that creditors should resolve that the Company enter into the proposed DOCA.

12. Administrators' Remuneration Report

Pursuant to Section 446E of the Act, I enclose as Annexure 2 the Administrators' Remuneration Report. At the second meeting of creditors, I intend seeking approval of the remuneration set out in the remuneration report. Details of disbursements incurred are also included in the remuneration report.

13. Further Queries

I will advise creditors in writing, if practicable, of any additional matter that comes to my attention after the dispatch of this report that, in my view, is material to creditors' deliberations.

In the meantime, should creditors have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Ian Morton.

DATED this 11th day of March 2008.




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Complete text of this document may be found at

Stand against Dipidio Demolition

March 14, 2008

We condemn Acts of Greed and Human Rights Violations against the Indigenous Peoples of Kasibu, Nueva Viscaya , Philippines :


Time is fast overtaking the indigenous residents of Barangay Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Viscaya , Philippines.

On March 18, 2008 , the 20-day Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that the indigenous community successfully obtained from the local court against the demolition of their houses and the clearing of their lands by an Australian mining company will end-- after which they will face anew continued and intensified attempts to destroy their homes and drive them away.

The indigenous residents have been fighting tooth and nail to defend their houses and communities against the wrecking crew of the Australian mining firm, Oceana Gold Philippines. Their lands are the site the mining company’s planned gold-copper project. Since December 2007 until the first week of January this year, 17 houses were torn down. Last February 10, 2008 , six more houses were destroyed.

Last March 3, 2008, the indigenous community joined other mining-affected communities in challenging the constitutionality of the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 before the Supreme Court. The FTAA has been granted by the government in 1994 and invoked by Oceana Gold Philippines, to justify its repeated attempts to clear the area of the proposed mining project’s 425-hectare primary impact area right at the heart of the resisting upland communities. The FTAA is one of the means granted by the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 for foreign companies to explore, develop and extract the country’s mineral resources. The Indigenous Peoples in Didipio, led by the Didipio Earthsavers Multi-Purpose Association (DESAMA) have stiffly resisted large-scale mining incursions into their communities since 1994.

The Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan/Friends of the Earth-Philippines (LRC-KsK/FoE-Philippines) condemns in the strongest possible terms, these reported acts of aggression and violence as well as human rights violations by the Oceana Gold Philippines against the Didipio residents who reject mining operations in their communities. The Australian company stands accused of taking properties of Indigenous Peoples, after it failed to convince the residents to sell their lands to the firm. We denounce the arrogance of the company, including its officials, as they reportedly ordered their contractors to “demolish houses and then negotiate later”, and in justifying their inhuman acts through their so-called “rights” under the Mining Act of 1995 and its FTAA.

We also deplore the reported complicity of elements of the Provincial Philippine National Police (PNP) as well as local officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)–as they also stand accused of aiding and abetting the Australian mining company in its demolition activities.

We condemn all these reported acts and incidents as they violate due process and human rights of the indigenous peoples of Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Viscaya , Philippines .

We call on all justice organizations, human rights and indigenous peoples advocates to support and extend solidarity to the indigenous peoples in Didipio and other communities in Nueva Vizcaya similarly affected by mining. WE URGENTLY ASK YOU TO:

1) Join hands with the indigenous peoples in Nueva Vizcaya to assert and defend their rights against the demolition and other acts of violence committed against them;

2) Stand with them in calling for justice and human rights and to prevent the residents’ forcible evictions once the TRO is lifted;

3) Demand an investigation and prosecution of those involved in unlawful and criminal acts, including the reported accomplices from implicated government agencies and personnel;

4) Urge the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Commission of Human Rights to investigate and punish alleged erring government personnel in Nueva Viscaya;

5) Call for the respect for the rule of law and the human rights of all peoples in mining-affected communities and areas in the Philippines .

6) Demand for the cancellation of the FTAA of Oceana Gold and all mining permits issued by the Philippine government;

7) Demand for the scrapping of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995!

We also call on you to write an Urgent Letter of Concern addressed to the following:

1. H. E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President of the Republic of the Philippines

Malacanang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Tel: +632.564.1451 to 80


Cell: +63.919.898.4622 / +63.917.839.8462

Email: /

2. Hon. Purificacion V. Quisumbing

Chairperson, Philippine Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Blg., UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City , Philippines

Tel: 928.5655/926.6188

Fax: +632.929.0102


3. Sec. Jose L. Atienza Jr

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)

Central Office, Visayas Avenue

Diliman, 1100, Quezon City , Philippines

Tel: 928.06.91 to 93 loc. 2003, 2008


4. OcenaGold Corporation

a. Australia

James E. Askew-Chairman

Corporate Office

Level 5, 250 Collins Street , Melbourne , Australia

Tel: +61.3.9656.5300

Fax: +61.3.9656.5333

b. Philippines

Jose P. Leviste

2nd Floor, CJV Building

108 Aguirre Street, Legaspi Village

1229 Makati City , Philippines

Tel: +6.32.8926643

Fax: +6.32.892.8399

Investors spooked by ANZ bad debt provisions


February 18, 2008

ANZ Banking Group led a share market run on the big banks after it surprised investors by revealing a worse-than-expected exposure to potential bad corporate debts.

Australia's third-biggest bank said a higher provisions charge to cover potential bad loans - headlined by a one-off $US200 million ($A220.68 million) exposure to a US bond insurer - was now so large it would ``offset'' strong profit growth.

The ANZ's trading update came only a week after the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) delivered interim earnings that fell short of expectations.

Like CBA, ANZ blamed its profit problems on the higher cost of wholesale funding and the need to put more money aside to cover bad corporate loans.

Investors cut ANZ's share price by $1.45, or 6.06% to $22.46 by the close of trading, and punished the other big banks.

It was the lowest closing level since it ended at $21.90 on September 2, 2005.

ANZ pencilled in a potential $US200 million loss on its exposure to ACA Capital Holdings after the US monoliner had its credit rating slashed last year.

Like other US-based bond insurers, ACA Capital has run into grief with its CDOs (collateralised debt obligations), which had some US subprime mortgage liabilities.

Adding to the ANZ's provision pain was a rating downgrade for one of its commercial property clients, resulting in an extra $90 million provision charge.

The property client is believed to be struggling supermarket owner Centro Properties Group.

UBS has estimated that ANZ had a $500 million unsecured exposure to Centro, a $700 million secured exposure and a $150 million exposure to US-based lender Countrywide.

ANZ posted another $51 million one-off provision to cover Lafayette Mining Ltd, which went into administration last year after a series of problems at its mine in the Philippines .

Grilled by industry analysts during a briefing today, ANZ boss Mike Smith was adamant his bank had no direct exposure to the US sub-prime mortgage crisis.

''For ANZ to experience an actual loss on this exposure (to ACA Capital) it would require a significant number of what is a large and well-diversified portfolio of corporate names to go belly-up around the world,'' he said.

''If that happens we're looking at an Armageddon situation. Really we would be the last thing you would have to worry about if that happened.''

Mr Smith said he expected that ANZ would eventually end up ``writing back most, if not all of this provision''..

The bank's underlying business was in good shape, he said. ``It's no surprise to anyone that credit costs have risen.

''They have been well below normal for quite some time and that was clearly unsustainable. The credit cycle has changed.''

ANZ was likely to increase revenues ``a little faster'' than many expected and, if anything, its revenue momentum was actually accelerating, Mr Smith said.

On the industry front, Mr Smith said the Australian banking system was standing up to the international credit crunch much better than European and US lenders.

''I would recommend all of you to visit London and New York in the near future just to see the effect of what is really happening there,'' he said.

''This is a financial services bloodbath. The Australian banking system is in remarkably good shape in comparison.''

So far this financial year, ANZ has raised term wholesale funding of $12 billion and is on track to meet its full-year term funding target of at least $25 billion.

The cost of the funding increased significantly and had only been partially offset by higher interest rates for customer lending, the bank said.

ANZ last month increased its variable rate for home loans by 20 basis points independently of the central bank..

ANZ said consumer credit quality in Australia remained solid, with low arrears and actual losses modestly below initial expectations.

Paul Xiradis, chief executive at fund manager Ausbil Dexia Ltd, said the ANZ's revelations had caught the market by surprise.

''We've seen the market react negatively as a consequence of that,'' Mr Xiradis said.

''It's bringing down the whole of the banking sector and raising concerns about the banks' exposure to these one-off factors.''

Expansion of Lafayette's operation is meeting stiff resistance from various stakeholders

Expansion of Lafayette's operation is meeting stiff resistance from various stakeholders

CIRCA flaunts the Ten Commandments of Climate Change

Commandment Number 7 states: Thou shall not resort to open pit mining . . . to avert climate change. Notice the photo of the CIRCA Executive Director at lower left.

CIRCA Defies SARA Boycott Call

CIRCA Defies SARA Boycott Call

Though blurred, the LG label is still visible on the flat screen.

Evidence that Nong Rangasa suggested to invite mining companies to his LGU Summit + 3i exhibit

Evidence that Nong Rangasa suggested to invite mining companies to his LGU Summit + 3i exhibit
Excerpt from the minutes of the meeting on October 11, 2010