PRRD warns mining firms vs. violating explosives laws, aiding Reds

MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte has directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to revoke the licenses of mining companies found violating explosive handling rules, MalacaAang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President made the directive when he presided over a National Security Council (NSC) executive committee's special meeting, which ended at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

The President directed the DENR to revoke the licenses, permits of mining companies violating explosive handling rules or reported to be supplying explosives to communist terrorist groups, Roque said.

The President, he said, also warned that military and police found violating the laws on explosives would "face automatic expulsion".

Roque said security measures against threats of violence by terrorists, particularly at ports and terminals, as well as efforts to secure and develop the Philippine Rise, were discussed during the NSC meeting.

In the same NSC executive panel's meeting, Duterte also ordered the creation of a task force for Mindanao Indigenous Peoples' (IPs) convergence.

Roque said the task force would address the plight of IPs in Mindanao.

Last Feb. 2, Duterte said he would release PHP100 million for tribal communities' livelihood program and agricultural development in Mindanao, as well as to counter the influence of communist insurgents.

He also vowed to facilitate the entry of investors and government assistance to tribal areas, for the IPs to develop and secure sustainable livelihood.

The President has underscored the importance of education to lift Lumad communities from dire poverty, promising to provide free education to bright and talented young indigenous people.

He expressed his government's willingness to fund the education of brilliant young tribe members by sending them to top universities in the country.

To fend off the influence of communist insurgents in Lumad areas, Duterte announced that his government would recruit qualified tribe people to become members of the Armed Forces. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency