[Blueboard] Fw: Press Statement of Fr. Jose T. Villarin, SJ - In Response to the Advertisement of the Chamber of Mines against the Ateneo School of Government

azabat at ateneo.edu azabat at ateneo.edu
Wed Nov 23 08:50:18 PHT 2011

Press Statement of Fr. Jose T. Villarin SJ,
President, Ateneo de Manila university

In Response to the Advertisement of the Chamber of Mines against
the Ateneo School of Government

I issue this statement in response to the half-page advertisement of  
the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines in the Philippine Daily  
Inquirer (B2, 22 ZNovember 2011) where the Chamber criticizes the  
Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) for hosting an academic conference  
today on The Future of Mining. The advertisement labels the conference  
?a farce? and accuses ASoG of not including the industry in the  
conference, that ?all the presenters are known to be against mining?  
and characterized the papers as ? all expectedly expressing  
anti-mining views?. The Chamber concludes by describing ASoG as having  
?allowed itself to be an unabashedly biased institution in the ongoing  
debate of the revitalization of the mining industry?.

I have conferred with Dr. Antonio La Viña, Dean of the Ateneo School  
of Government, and have reviewed with him the assertions of the  
Chamber of Mines. On this basis, as President of the Ateneo de Manila  
University, I make the following points:

First, the Chamber of Mines has misunderstood the nature of the  
academic conference ASoG convened. This is a peer review conference  
where the purpose is to review academic papers and where there is no  
intention for a shared output. This is an academic exercise where the  
result is an intellectual product of the school. We welcome all  
stakeholders reviewing the ASoG papers but the final product is solely  
the school?s and will be published in due time.

Second, I reject the accusation that all the presenters are known to  
be anti-mining: except for Dr. La Vina and one senior writer, most of  
the research team (the whole team consists of 7 people) that presented  
papers do not have a reputation or a public record on mining. In fact,  
they were chosen precisely because of their ability to be objective  
and independent.

I also reject the characterization of the papers being presented as  
anti-mining. In fact, the compiled papers concludes that responsible  
mining is possible but certain governance conditions must be fulfilled  
to make this a reality. The ASoG report identifies these conditions  
and calls on the national government to impose a moratorium on the  
approval of new mining agreements and operations until such conditions  
are met.

We would like to reiterate the invitation to the mining industry to  
dialogue with us. Instead of attacking the school and the conference,  
we ask them to come to the table and sit down with us to tell us where  
ASoG did not get it right and how to improve our research.

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