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Tampakan massacre victim kin seeks UN intervention -SAC-Marbel and PIPLinks

Tampakan massacre victim kin seeks UN intervention

Protest against SMI. Photo by ATMA relative of massacre victim, Juvy Capion and her two children, has asked for the intervention of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Prof. James Anaya. Erita Capion Dialang seeks an investigation and resolution to the numerous violations of their rights as B’laan Indigenous Peoples, [1] which include the killing of members of their clans in struggles over a proposed mining project by Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) [2]

Juvy Capion and her two children were killed just over a year ago in October 2012, by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippine assigned in the area. The military claimed, however, that the victims were killed in crossfire as they tried to arrest Juvy’s husband Daguil Capion. Daguil has become a leader of the armed resistance of the B’laan people to SMI’s Tampakan Copper Gold Project in South Cotabato, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

In a letter addressed to Professor Anaya, Erita Capion Dialang, sister of Daguil Capion, and respected Fandita (female B’laan leader), asked the UN envoy to act on a video communication sent to him highlighting the issues that hound the B’laan indigenous communities. [3] These include forcible entry to their territories without community consent, usurpation of their legal right to free, prior and informed consent, and the audacity of SMI to desecrate sacred places, and disrespect prayer houses and burial grounds.

The letter reiterates the various human rights violations committed by elements of the Philippine military’s Task Force KITACO that have been sowing terror in a once-peaceful community. It enumerated recent victims of military atrocities, including the killing of Kitari Capion and B’laan respected elder, (Bong Fulong) Anteng Freay and his son, Victor. Task Force KITACO has received financial support from SMI and the local government units of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, Tampakan, South Cotabato, and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat. The letter also assails the government’s National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for their ignorance of the B’laan’s customary laws.

Erita Capion Dialang has asked Professor Anaya to call on the Philippine Government to investigate and resolve the issues of the killings of B’laan by the military, with the help of paramilitaries, and to investigate the violations committed by SMI and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) against their customary laws and against their human rights. She also extended an invitation for Professor Anaya to visit the B’laan communities and see for himself their situation.

For further information, contact:
Rene Pamplona (Philippines) Ph: + 63 228 3793 Email: sacmarbel@yahoo.com
Andy Whitmore (UK) Ph: +44 774 439 5597 Email: comms@piplinks.org

Notes for editors:
1) A copy of the letter from http://www.piplinks.org/letter-erita-capion-un-special-rapporteur-rights-indigenous-people

2) Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) is developing the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in southern Philippine island of Mindanao. The major shareholder, and controlling partner, is Xstrata Copper (now part of the Swiss-based multinational Glencore Xstrata). The project is a hugely contentious one, facing opposition from local B’laan tribespeople, but also large sections of local civil society. The Province of South Cotabato has passed an ordinance banning openpit mining, primarily in response to the proposed project. For more information see: http://www.piplinks.org/companies/Indophil+Resources

3) A copy of the video can be sent on request.

Social Action Center of Marbel (SAC-Marbel)
Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks)
Press Statement
For immediate release – 4th November 2013

Source: alyansatigilmina.net

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