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Campaign against large-scale mining
Groups condemn ambush of B’laan leader and member in minerals-rich Davao del Sur
On Mining
Friday, 05 July 2013 12:39

Press Release

July 5, 2013

 

 

 

Groups condemn ambush of B’laan leader and member in minerals-rich Davao del Sur

Demand immediate investigation, pullout of paramilitary groups

 

atmGroups, supporting the opposition of indigenous peoples and faith-based organizations to the Tampakan Copper Gold Mining project, condemn the recent report of ambush of B’laans Eking Freay and his brother-in-law Sonnny Boy Planda on June 28.

 

It was between 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning when the two were on their way home after selling their crops in Brgy. Kimlawis when they were fired at by alleged members of Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) under Task Force KITACO (Kiblawan, Tampakan, Columbio). Planda was fatally wounded and later died while on his way to Davao City for medical treatment, a report said.

 

Freay, community leader of T’bol of the Bong Mal B’laan Territory, was hit in the right thigh and the back but was able to flee toward Bong Mal.

 

“We condemn the killings and the attack to indigenous communities who have opposed mining in there area. There is more than enough evidence to show that the presence of paramilitary groups there is detrimental to the communities, especially when we know that Task Force KITACO is paid for by the mining company opposed by the people,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

 

Freay is one of the sons of Bong Fulong Anting Freay of the Freay-Capion Clan, and publicly expresses his strong opposition on the presence of SMI/Xstrata and of military detachments in Bong Mal.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 12:45
 
Human Rights should take Precedence and it cannot be Sacrificed in the name of 'Responsible Mining'-Tampakan Forum
On Mining
Thursday, 04 July 2013 12:06
Human Rights should take Precedence and it cannot be Sacrificed in the name of 'Responsible Mining'
We at the Tampakan Forum welcome with affirmation the thorough work done by Dr. Brigitte Hamm, Ms. Anne Schax and Mr. Christian Scheper of the Institute for Peace and Development ( INEF)  as presented in the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA)  of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, an independent study commissioned and published  by MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation and the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund (Fastenopfer) in collaboration with  the Swiss protestant development organization Bread for All.
The conduct of a Human Rights Impact Assessment by an independent and third party institution is a welcome initiative. It provides a better understanding of a pressing business and human rights issue in the country today. Such is the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, being heralded by both the government and the industry as the biggest single investment in the Philippines which will purportedly bring in humongous economic benefits to the country and raise the community’s “standard of living”.
The furor it has created stupefied observers, revolted the directly affected as well as different stakeholders. The exchange of views, opinions and positions for or against the project spanned many years already. It has divided families, communities, and ostracized constituents from their governments while on ground zero, the unfolding of once feared scenarios into actual events and incidents is now happening. Noticeably, concrete responses and appropriate immediate interventions from supposed authorities is a gaping gap to date.  If any, drastic and insensitive measures that have only aggravated the situation from bad to worse.
We see the impact study on human rights as an essential element to pave the way for a more in-depth, properly informed and objective discussion of the issues at hand. It would do well for government to read it carefully and critically. It may well be an indictment of its conduct vis-a-vis human rights, indigenous peoples, environment and the stewardship of Creation.
The HRIA under the frame of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights is a valuable human rights tool to guide businesses in upholding respect for human rights in every step of their work process, and to establish effective remedies. Likewise to provide guidance for the state to protect human rights by effectively enforcing regulation and to draw attention from all stakeholders to uphold the primacy of human rights. It is so as the HRIA report on Tampakan Project clearly pointed out its actual and potential impacts in a given complex context of the human rights of the most vulnerable groups especially indigenous groups, farmers and irrigators.
Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), a subsidiary of the Philippines Glencore-Xstrata, has certainly made a study on the environmental and social impact of the effects on health according to the Philippine laws. However, none of the companies involved in the project has so far done an impact study on human rights in accordance with the Guidelines. The Philippine government has neither made nor requested the study, no more than the Swiss state has required the parent company to undertake one. This does not and cannot downplay the fact of the dire need for an independent HRIA.
The HRIA had delved into a context which is characterized by a combination of government failures, prevailing poverty, a high level of marginalization and discrimination against indigenous groups, especially in terms of basic services, and a generally volatile conflict situation.
It pointed out already existing and potential high risks to the human rights of vulnerable population should the project proceed, as the rights to an adequate and meaningful information and participation, livelihoods, health, education, culture, and the fundamental right to life, security, and liberty.
Against the backdrop of the key predicaments outlined by the HRIA as precarious to such a project, the conclusion that under such situation and existing conditions, “a responsible open-pit mine of this magnitude does not seem feasible” has only corroborated the earlier critique of the Tampakan Forum which was presented in a public forum organized by the Provincial local government of South Cotabato last September 23, 2011. The blatant disregard for fundamental human rights was also one of the key findings by the Tampakan Forum-led fact-finding solidarity mission last April 2012. These prior documents were made available to all the stakeholders for consideration and appropriate action but sadly it seemed it has been relegated to the background by the concerned government authorities, and has not been taken seriously if not altogether vehemently denied by SMI.
We have always reiterated that the Philippine state is the primary bearer of the responsibility for the fragile situation in the Tampakan area, while SMI and its mother company, Xstrata carry great responsibility.
This project will result in the expulsion of more than 5,000 indigenous people from their ancestral domain. It is located on a site of importance with regard to the supply of drinking water in the region. A site also threatened by earthquakes and by an active volcano. The mining company’s promise and assurance comes in the form of techno-fix mitigating measures to master all existing environmental risks.
From the outset, Tampakan Forum totally agreed with the SMI’s consultant engineers who determined that: “The Tampakan Mine has a high potential for loss of life and high environmental damage if the facilities fail” [page 42 Waste Management Report. Appendix A. SMI Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) 2011]. We totally disagree that Xstrata/Indophil/SMI can design the facilities to survive seismic activity and climate change including tropical cyclones forever.
The way mining has been done in the country for the past 50 years, render the fact that the state at the moment, does not have the institutional capability to evaluate and regulate mining. This presents a quandary on what constitutes “responsible” mining and how will it be measured and applied to specific situations.
Incoherent information and lack of meaningful participation, dependency of basic services on the future of the project,  imbalanced power relationship between SMI and affected  communities, insufficiency of established grievance mechanisms, accumulating grievances and triggers of violent conflict are predicaments that any good and responsible government will be hard put not to simply ignore. Its actual occurrence and manifestations right under the nose of a mining company that claims to be responsible speaks for itself the truth behind this venture that cannot be simply swept under the rug.
While we may agree with the principle that the business of mining and human rights can be possible in any other context, notwithstanding the key recommendations of the HRIA, it defies sane reasoning on why should the Philippines permit such a mine and carry the known and unknown risks and costs forever. The trade-offs far outweigh the temporary economic benefits being dangled by the mining company and its promoters and brokers in the government.
The HRIA on Tampakan only strengthens the resolve of the Tampakan Forum in pushing for the 10 point Human Rights Agenda in Mining which includes among others the calls to Respect, protect and fulfill IP Rights, to self determination (FPIC), Protect women human rights defenders and IP women in mining areas, protect our environment and right to safe sound and balance ecology, stop the killings of human rights defenders, stop displacement of rural folks, protect the rights to food, water, housing and access to means of subsistence, stop militarization and deployment of investment defense forces, justice for all victims of mining related HRVs and Stop development aggression.
Human Rights are fundamental to us as human beings. It is enshrined in international conventions and covenants. It is enshrined in our own constitution. It is embedded in our faith – Imago Dei – in the image and likeness of God. Human rights cannot be sacrificed in the name of ‘responsible mining’.
Even as we call on and address the HRIA recommendations to the present administration of President Benign Aquino Jr., the UK and Swiss governments and the mining companies SMI, Glencore-Xstrata and Indophil, the Tampakan Forum, renew our demand for the cancellation of the FTAA .The proposed Tampakan mine should not be allowed to proceed. *This is an official statement of the Tampakan Forum, a technical working group of several civil society organizations monitoring the Tampakan mining situation.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/philippine-misereor-partnership-inc/human-rights-should-take-precedence-and-it-cannot-be-sacrificed-in-the-name-of-r/682563195093560
Human Rights should take Precedence and it cannot be Sacrificed in the name of 'Responsible Mining'
We at the Tampakan Forum welcome with affirmation the thorough work done by Dr. Brigitte Hamm, Ms. Anne Schax and Mr. Christian Scheper of the Institute for Peace and Development ( INEF)  as presented in the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA)  of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, an independent study commissioned and published  by MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation and the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund (Fastenopfer) in collaboration with  the Swiss protestant development organization Bread for All.
The conduct of a Human Rights Impact Assessment by an independent and third party institution is a welcome initiative. It provides a better understanding of a pressing business and human rights issue in the country today. Such is the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, being heralded by both the government and the industry as the biggest single investment in the Philippines which will purportedly bring in humongous economic benefits to the country and raise the community’s “standard of living”.
The furor it has created stupefied observers, revolted the directly affected as well as different stakeholders. The exchange of views, opinions and positions for or against the project spanned many years already. It has divided families, communities, and ostracized constituents from their governments while on ground zero, the unfolding of once feared scenarios into actual events and incidents is now happening. Noticeably, concrete responses and appropriate immediate interventions from supposed authorities is a gaping gap to date.  If any, drastic and insensitive measures that have only aggravated the situation from bad to worse.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 July 2013 12:08
 
Champions from the Senate and House of Representatives re-filed the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) that will repeal the Mining Act of 1995
On Mining
Thursday, 04 July 2013 12:02
Quezon City—Champions from the Senate and House of Representatives re-filed the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) that will repeal the Mining Act of 1995.
The AMMB is posed to promote a mining regime that is pro-poor, pro-environment and one that serves more for the benefit of Filipino communities and economy, as opposed to Republic Act No. 7942 that promotes large-scale mining and exploitation of our mineral resources at the expense of our precious environment and peoples.
Sen. Sergio Osmeña and Reps. Teddy Brawner-Baguilat, Kaka Bag-ao, Carlos Padilla, Eleandro Madrona, Rufus Rodriguez, ABAMIN Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, and Akbayan Reps. Walden Bello and Barry Gutierrez sponsor senate Bill No. 43 and House Bill No. 984 respectively.
Ifugao Rep. Baguilat said, “The AMMB is our solution to the concerns raised by mining-affected communities and local government units on mining. This bill looks at environmental, health and social safeguards, and at the same time guarantees mining revenues for local and national government units and royalties to indigenous peoples.
“Now contrary to the claim of the mining sector, AMMB is not an anti-mining bill—we are proposing a policy that will be more responsive to the needs of host communities, sensitive to the environment, and that will yield economic development.”
SOS Yamang Bayan Network, a multi-stakeholder coalition that pushes for the enactment of the bill welcomed the filing of AMMB. The network held its second assembly on July 1 and 2 in Quezon City to consolidate and renew its campaign to push the bill under the 16th Congress.
“We believe that our legislators and the Pnoy Administration should certify AMMB as urgent to prevent more disastrous impacts of large scale mining to indigenous communities and rural poor dependent on natural resources and to the environment” said Erwin Quiñones, SOS-Yamang Bayan Network coordinator.
Quinones added that under the present law, the mining industry allows big foreign and local mining companies to exploit our mineral resources at will, yet leaving communities divided and underdeveloped and which traditional livelihoods directly dependent on natural resources destroyed.
“Worst, their basic rights were even undermined by these greedy corporations, resulting to numerous cases of human rights violations,” he concluded.
AMMB not EO 79, proposed mining fiscal regime
Executive Order No. 79-2011 is the response of the Aquino administration to current mining issues. Despite this, SOS Yamang Bayan Network believes that the order is only a piecemeal solution to the flaws in Republic Act 7942.
Meanwhile, the network further explains that the pronouncement of the government to come up with a new mining fiscal regime is only responds to the financial or economic side of the industry, when what is needed is a paradigm shift.
Judy Pasimio, coordinator of Purple Action for Indigenous Women Rights, explains: “The current mining law has been used as a legal argument for different forms of injustices against mining-affected communities and institutionalizing the control of large corporations of our natural resources. There’s no other time to pass the alternative minerals management bill but NOW. We hope this new Congress realized that the issue of mining is a matter of life and death for a lot of rural and indigenous communities.”
Meanwhile, incoming Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez said Congress must build on the people’s success in compelling President Aquino to issue an executive order, which explicitly declared which areas should not be included in mining operations.
“Last year, we were successful in persuading President Aquino to issue Executive Order. 79, which prohibits tourism sites, farmlands, marine sanctuaries and island ecosystems from mining operations. The EO also recognized the indigenous people and their communities as important stakeholders in the mining issue. While the EO is still wanting in many respects, I believe the momentum it created must be sustained and harnessed as we urge the new Congress to pass an Alternative Minerals Managements Law,” Gutierrez said.
“It’s high time for Congress to put premium in the ecological value of our country’s mineral resources, and shift the land use priority towards environmental protection, food security and sustainable development. No less than an alternative Minerals Law will do this,” Gutierrez added.
The SOS-Yamang Bayan Network is a national, multi-sectoral movement composed of individual advocates, mining-affected communities, national peoples’ alliances, environmental organizations and networks, church-based organizations, human rights organizations, national NGOs, sectoral organizations from the indigenous peoples, youth, women, farmers, congressional representatives, leaders and personalities advocating for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of a new minerals management bill.
For more information, contact the SOS-YB Network secretariat through Erwin Quiñones, 0921.304.4884 / 0917.585.3817 < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > or Farah Sevilla, 0923.512.2374 / 0915.331.3361 < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >.
SOS-YB_LOGOQuezon City—Champions from the Senate and House of Representatives re-filed the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) that will repeal the Mining Act of 1995.
The AMMB is posed to promote a mining regime that is pro-poor, pro-environment and one that serves more for the benefit of Filipino communities and economy, as opposed to Republic Act No. 7942 that promotes large-scale mining and exploitation of our mineral resources at the expense of our precious environment and peoples.
Sen. Sergio Osmeña and Reps. Teddy Brawner-Baguilat, Kaka Bag-ao, Carlos Padilla, Eleandro Madrona, Rufus Rodriguez, ABAMIN Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, and Akbayan Reps. Walden Bello and Barry Gutierrez sponsor senate Bill No. 43 and House Bill No. 984 respectively.
Ifugao Rep. Baguilat said, “The AMMB is our solution to the concerns raised by mining-affected communities and local government units on mining. This bill looks at environmental, health and social safeguards, and at the same time guarantees mining revenues for local and national government units and royalties to indigenous peoples.
“Now contrary to the claim of the mining sector, AMMB is not an anti-mining bill—we are proposing a policy that will be more responsive to the needs of host communities, sensitive to the environment, and that will yield economic development.”
SOS Yamang Bayan Network, a multi-stakeholder coalition that pushes for the enactment of the bill welcomed the filing of AMMB. The network held its second assembly on July 1 and 2 in Quezon City to consolidate and renew its campaign to push the bill under the 16th Congress.
“We believe that our legislators and the Pnoy Administration should certify AMMB as urgent to prevent more disastrous impacts of large scale mining to indigenous communities and rural poor dependent on natural resources and to the environment” said Erwin Quiñones, SOS-Yamang Bayan Network coordinator.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 July 2013 12:06
 
Anti-mining campaigners led bike tour against Ph mining law
On Mining
Thursday, 20 June 2013 19:46
Anti-mining campaigners led bike tour against Ph mining law
“Sikaran! Tadyakan! Mining Act of 1995 Wakasan!”
Manila — Anti-mining advocates and bikers led a bike tour from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Office to the Supreme Court in Manila today to highlight the negative social and environmental impacts of mining and call to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942).
This is in relation to the upcoming Supreme Court Oral Arguments on a petition questioning the constitutionality of Sections 80 and 81 of RA 7942 and DENR Adm. Order 2007-12 that establishes the supposed income derived from Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) and Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs) set on June 25.
Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina and one of the convenors of Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Campaign said: “We would like to emphasize the need to revisit the current mining regime, present how mining activities have impacted host communities, and let the public judge if the failed promises of development are worth the social and environmental injustices caused by this destructive industry.”
Tao Muna-Hindi Mina! Campaign puts large-scale mining as a major issue that the government should respond to. It reiterates the cry of mining-affected communities for the government to prioritize people and environment over mining.
Incoming Akbayan Representative Barry Gutierrez also urged the Supreme Court to rule against the constitutionality of the Mining Act of 1995 and vowed to file the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), a bill being pushed by SOS-Yamang Bayan Network.
The AMMB would serve to offset the negative impacts of mining on the environment, strengthen stakeholder participation in mining contracts and ensure that local communities and the government have a greater share of mining profits.
“The Supreme Court should listen to the millions of voices that are opposed to the current system of mining in the country. The current mining law has only favored the large mining companies at the expense of indigenous peoples, local governments and communities, and the environment,” Gutierrez said.
SOS-Yamang Bayan Network Coordinator Erwin Quiñones further explained: “The petitions for prohibition and mandamus were filed in March 2008 to defend the lives, dignity, livelihood, land, and environment and rights of mining-affected communities and Indigenous Peoples. We believe that we should not allow this policy to legalize the attack against our land and people. Despite our call to the Supreme Court to immediately resolve the constitutionality of Sections 80 and 81 of the Mining Law, we also question the constitutionality of the law as a whole.”
The groups are united in their call to repeal the current mining law and enactment of a pro-people, pro-environment alternative minerals management bill that will be filed as the Congress opens in July 1.
“We’re hopeful that we can pass an alternative mining bill in the incoming 16th Congress and correct the years of disastrous mining policies that came as a result of the current. Mining Act,” Gutierrez concluded.
Garganera and Quiñones spoke in behalf of communities opposing MPSAs and FTAAs in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino Provinces; and South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur. The activity was organized in support of lawyers who will represent the petitioners during the Oral Arguments on June 25—a continuation of the initial hearing last April 16 held in Baguio City.
25 bikers were sent off from DENR in Visayas Ave to Supreme Court in Padre Faura Manila where they were met by a hundred rallyists. (30)
--
The SOS-Yamang Bayan Network is a national, multi-sectoral movement composed of individual advocates, mining-affected communities, national peoples’ alliances, environmental organizations and networks, church-based organizations, human rights organizations, national NGOs, sectoral organizations from the indigenous peoples, youth, women, farmers, congressional representatives, leaders and personalities advocating for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of a new minerals management bill.
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, 0927.671.7602, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Erwin Quiñones, SOS-YB Network Coordinator, 0921.304.4884, erwin.quiñ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sikad_Padyak_Laban_sa_Mining_Act_95_Photo_by_Susan_Corpus_Lilak
Anti-mining campaigners led bike tour against Ph mining law. Photo by Susan Corpus/Lilak

“Sikaran! Tadyakan! Mining Act of 1995 Wakasan!”
Manila — Anti-mining advocates and bikers led a bike tour from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Office to the Supreme Court in Manila today to highlight the negative social and environmental impacts of mining and call to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942).
This is in relation to the upcoming Supreme Court Oral Arguments on a petition questioning the constitutionality of Sections 80 and 81 of RA 7942 and DENR Adm. Order 2007-12 that establishes the supposed income derived from Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) and Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs) set on June 25.
Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina and one of the convenors of Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Campaign said: “We would like to emphasize the need to revisit the current mining regime, present how mining activities have impacted host communities, and let the public judge if the failed promises of development are worth the social and environmental injustices caused by this destructive industry.”
Tao Muna-Hindi Mina! Campaign puts large-scale mining as a major issue that the government should respond to. It reiterates the cry of mining-affected communities for the government to prioritize people and environment over mining.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2013 19:53
 
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