Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that those who have a beef with the country’s laws that allow mining should do themselves a favor by working on having them repealed or amended by the Congress rather than training their guns on those who believe it is part of their duty as civil servants to uphold the laws of the land.
“My only comment is if certain quarters think the law is unfair, they should work to change the law, as violation of the laws is not an option for any Government official or any good citizen for that matter,” Dominguez said.
This was the finance chief’s terse response to criticisms hurled by the rejected Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez and her allies against Dominguez’s belief on the primacy of upholding the country’s laws, including those on mining.
Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin, meanwhile, added: “We are a government of laws, not men. The Mining Act sets the terms and conditions under which mining should be conducted, as well as the conditions for its suspension or cancellation. It is the duty of government officials to implement the law.”
Agabin, who has been also under attack by Lopez, said, “If they think this is unfair, then they should go to Congress to have it amended.”
“I do not know her basis for the claim that the mining act was subject to intense lobbying from the mining sector,” he added.