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Recent military attack on tribal leaders alarm anti mining groups-ATM

August 29, 2013

Recent military attack on tribal leaders alarm anti mining groups
Confirms murder of Blaan Bong Fuling and son

atmMarbel Diocese and support groups in Manila are alarmed at the escalating militarization and human rights violations in the mine area of Tampakan.

After an ocular visit conducted by the team headed by SAC Marbel in Bulol Kalon, Bong Mal Bong Banwe’, recent violent incident occurred confirmed the brutal killing of Anteng and Victo after the house of Anteng Freay was raided by the AFP personnel under the 39th IB, PA and the CAFGUs of 72nd IB in Bulol Kalon. After the killings an encounter ensued between Blaan “Fulong Kamlon Banwe’ (Blaan Tribal warriors) and the government troops.

“We seek the immediate action of the Commission on Human Rights, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Office of the President on this. It has become natural for the people in Tampakan and nearby areas to have guns and different ammunitions for fear of their lives everytime the military and paramilitary groups pass by,” said Fr Joy Pelino, SAC-Marbel Director.

He added: “The government must conduct a thorough investigation on this event. The Blaan Indigenous People’s are dying protecting their ancestral domain. Government troops are killing the IP’s and the government is waging war against them by encroaching into their territories.“

The incident

August 23, between 3:00 to 5:00am, the Bong Fulong Anteng Freay was shot few meters away from his house and almost in front of his wife. Their house was also strafed with bullets—church and support groups of mining-affected communities in South Cotabato and Davao del Sur confirmed after a visit to Bulol Kalon.

Minutes after, Kiit called out to her son who was sleeping in a makeshift hut to tell him his father was killed. Kiit shared Victor went running towards his house and together with his wife and son they run but CAFGUs and the member of the 39th IB were waiting for him and shot him with an M16 rifle also few meters from his wife and son.

Different kinds of empty shells were found including 134 empty shells were found in Anteng Freays house, and 27 empty cartridges where Victor was shot.

The ocular visit report found that military allegations of encounter between the tribal warriors the 39th IB PA and CAFGUs only happened after the killing of Anteng and Victor.

Tampakan Human Rights Impact Assessment Report

In June 2013, the Institute for Development and Peace together with the Commission on Human Rights launched the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project. It examined the different impacts of the mining project to the human rights of affected communities. This included the concerns regarding the militarization of the ancestral lands where the mine is located.

The HRIA found that the situation in the area to be precarious, and that “responsibly operating an open-pit mine does not seem feasible.” It added: “Violent incidents and the potential for further violent con?icts interact with and add to these imbalances. Regular armed forces and paramilitaries deployed in the area have intensi?ed frictions between those who have hopes in gaining from a potential mine and those who oppose the project. Thus, the prospect of the mine and the company’s presence have triggered dynamics of militarization and the escalation of violence in the region.”

“The government cannot keep still and quiet on this. This increasing incidents and regularity of the encounters and attacks by our own military against indigenous peoples is unacceptable. Military groups should be pulled out and the incident be immediately investigated on”, Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina said.

Recent Killings in Tampakan

October 2012: Juvy Capion, 27 and two of her sons Jordan, 13 and John, 8 were massacred.

January 29, 30: Kitari and Diyo Capion, tribal defense warriors were killed in military encounter. Kitari Capion brother of Daguil Capion was killed during the raid of the members of the Task Force KITACO, 72nd IB.

June 28: Eking Freay, eldest son of Bong Fulong Anteng Freay and his brother in-law were ambushed in Brgy. Kimlawis, Kiblawan, Davao Del Sur. Sonny Boy died instantly.

One of the stumbling blocks of SMI-Xstrata’s mining project is the absence of the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) of the indigenous groups in the area who oppose the mining project.

ATM is part of the Tampakan Forum, a coalition of international and local organizations that serves as a technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue.

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB. (30)

For more information:
Fr. Joy Peliño, SAC-Marbel Director, sacmarbel@yahoo.com
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

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