“KALIKASAN AT TAO MUNA – HINDI MINA.” DAHIL HINDI DAPAT TUBO AT KITA ANG INUUNA SA PAMAMAHALA
The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines is launching a letter barrage campaign for the 10 point Human Rights Agenda on Mining, endorsed by different human rights, environmental, indigenous peoples and women’s’ groups and which we aim to reach President Benigno Aquino III, the two Houses of Congress and leaders of LGUs.
We would like to invite everyone to join us in this letter sending campaign before the coming State of the Nation Address –SONA of PNoy and the opening of Congress this July 2014. Our objective is for the 10 Human Rights Agenda on Mining to reach PNoy and leaders of our government and register our call to end large scale mining and prioritize the legislation of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill. You may also print out the Appeal Letter for sign-on in your respective areas and submit to TFDP office No. 45 St. Mary Street, Cubao, Quezon City.
Please send letter to the email addresses of President Aquino and concerned government agencies indicated below.
If you wish to make any inquiries please contact TFDP at 4378054 or kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The more letters we will be able to mobilize, the more we effectively register our calls.
We are also sending this to media and international partners.
President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
Republic of the Philippines
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1005
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Dear President Aquino;
Mining has been in the national agenda for more than a decade. Your assumption into office gave hope for a policy change in mining. Unfortunately, your administration continues to aggressively promote mining as revenue-generating industry despite continued and widespread protests by mining-affected communities as well as civil society.
The State has the fundamental obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights not only for the current generation but for future generations. These trinitarian obligations govern the conduct of the State in relation to its peoples and it is by these that States are weighed and judged for their sins of commission and omission.
As the coming State of the Nation Address provides an opportunity for peoples agenda for legislation and to register the peoples issues and concerns on Mining; human rights, environmental, indigenous peoples and women’s’ groups have come together to endorse a 10 Point Human Rights Agenda on Mining to your office.
It is an agenda to challenge you as leaders in government to take up and respond to the call for an end to large-scale mining in the country and for making the Alternative Minerals Management Bill as a priority bill for legislation.
Panawagan namin sa inyo mga pinuno ng bansa, dapat pahalagahan ang “Kalikasan at Tao Muna – Hindi Mina.” Dahil hindi dapat tubo at kita ang inuuna sa pamamahala.
10 POINT HR AGENDA ON MINING
- SCRAP Mining Act of 1995! Enact Alternative Minerals Management Bill. The implementation of RA 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995) continues the mismanagement of our mineral resources. This law is flawed in as much as it fails to recognize the rights of communities, local governments and indigenous peoples to effectively participate in deciding to accept mining or not. We need a new mining law that will promote not only the economic rights of Filipinos through a more just sharing of benefits from minerals, but also a rational way of valuing and managing our minerals towards national industrialization.
- Stop large scale mining. Large-scale mining permanently disturbs the ecological and natural characteristics of an area. It is the most economical and efficient method for a mining company to earn the most profits, but also introduces a wide array of potential human rights abuses and human rights violations. Large-scale mining are owned and operated by local and transnational corporations who will use deception, bribery, harassment, violence, para-military forces and even extra-judicial killings to silence and impede resistance against their mining projects. Large-scale mining operations also entail large-scale negative impacts to lives and livelihoods of mining-affected communities, including physical dislocation, unstable jobs, cultural displacement, social disintegration and environmental degradation.
- Respect, protect and fulfill Indigenous Peoples (IP) Rights to self determination (FPIC). One of the most serious issues against mining is the failure to secure genuine free, prior and informed consent from indigenous peoples (IPs). Almost two-thirds of titled and claimed ancestral domains are directly impacted by mining applications and operations here in the Philippines. Several cases of violations of FPIC are documented in Cordillera, Zambales, Aurora-Quezon, Palawan, Mindoro, Romblon, Zamboanga, and South Cotabato, all involving mining projects. There are numerous cases in CARAGA, where overlaps of mining tenements and ancestral domains are recorded in almost all of the remaining forests in the region. The traditional customary laws and indigenous governance systems of indigenous communities are threatened as mining companies employ their divide and rule tactics, to falsely secure the FPIC requirement prescribed by the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA).
- Protect women human rights defenders and IP women in mining areas. Rural and indigenous women are at the forefront in the struggle against mining. They recognize and actually feel the adverse impacts of mining on the lives of their families and communities – food security, economic activities, social values, peace and order among others. Prostitution in the communities is one of the worsening impacts of mining. They see the fight against mining as a task that rural and indigenous women have to take on for the survival of their communities, and of themselves. This is why they have been targets of threats, harassments and killings. With Juvy Capion, B’laan leader, who was murdered in October 2012, a long list of women human rights defenders from rural and indigenous communities affected by mining has experiences of cases filed against them, receives threats against them and their families, bodily harmed, subjects of malicious gossips to discredit their leadership.
- Stop exploitation of workers in Mining Sites.The mining industry has not only exploited our natural resources but has continually exploited our workers. Filipino workers are exposed to extreme working conditions in mining areas where there is poor ventilation, dust, fumes and other chemical and biological danger. Aside from these, some mining companies are even using outdated procedures that further aggravate risks to its workers. Unfair labor practice is also common in mining industries. Contrary to the promise that mining in the Philippines will bring in most needed jobs, mining operations hardly translated with employment. And even when it does, jobs it generates are mostly contractual in nature. Workers in mining companies also suffer from low wages. According to the International Solidarity Mission on Mining (ISMM), large scale mining companies earn as much as P36 million for a two day work of a skilled Filipino miner who receives as low as P233 daily wage, sometimes even less than the prescribed minimum wage. Labor unions are also suppressed and prevented to organize, mining companies even organize their own “company union” to compete with the legitimate union.
- Protect our environment and right to safe, sound and balanced ecology. Numerous mining applications and projects are situated in the remaining forests of the Philippines. This is problematic as we only have less than 18% forest cover remaining, when an ideal percentage should be at least 50% for a good climatic regulatory function. Mining contracts currently contain provisions that give mining companies auxiliary rights to timber, water, easement within their mining areas. The massive cutting of trees and forests, diversion of water resources and intrusive construction of infrastructures imperils the sound ecology of the Philippines, including access to water for irrigation and domestic consumption. Philippine biodiversity is directly threatened as habitats are destroyed by mining. With decreasing forest cover, the Philippines is made more ill-equipped to face the climate crisis, and the poor are faced with increased risks and vulnerabilities brought by disasters such as typhoons, landslides, floods and erosions.
- Stop the killings! Protect Human Rights Defenders!The proliferation of mining operations in the country also heralded the killings of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in the course of their stand against large-scale mining, advocacy on environment protection and human rights of people affected by the mining operations. Some of the most prominent HRDs who died were Fr. Fausto Tentorio of North Cotabato and Dr. Gerry Ortega of Palawan but there are less known HRDs who were equally courageous and suffered the same fate, such as Genesis Ambason of Agusan del Sur; Francisco Canayong of Leyte; Armin Marin of Romblon; Gensun Agustin of Cagayan; Datu Roy Bagtikan Gallego of Surigao Sur and many others. The companies’ private security agencies, the military and para-military groups are directly responsible for the killings but the owners of companies and the government are equally liable and responsible.
- Stop displacement of rural folks. Protect the right to food, water, housing and access to means of subsistence. Due to lack of consultations and non-disclosure of relevant information, large-scale mining have often led to forced eviction of indigenous peoples and other community residents within the permit area. Documented cases also showed that mining companies’ clearing operations have caused confusion, instilled fear, and stirred conflict in affected areas. Once the operation starts, mining poses risks to water sources not only of the impact area but also of downstream communities. Mining consumes large quantity of water and pollutes water sources which could jeopardize food production and the health of residents. Displacement of rural women renders them vulnerable to sex trafficking.
- Stop militarization and deployment of investment defense forces. The entry of mining in the communities has militarized the areas. Often the military is deployed and utilized to defend the interests of mining companies and to pacify peoples’ resistance. Mining companies have formed their own paramilitary forces to wreak terror and divide the communities. Militarization has brought numerous deaths and destruction, countless violations of human and peoples’ rights.
- Justice for all victims of mining related Human Rights Violations. Stop development aggression!Development is development aggression when the people become the victims, not the beneficiaries; when the people are set aside in development planning, not partners in development; and when people are considered mere resources for profit-oriented development, not the center of development . . . . Development aggression violates the human rights of our people in all their dimensions—economic, social, cultural, civil and political.
Anak Mindanao -AMIN Partylist
Aniban ng Mangagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA)
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP)
Coalition Against Trafficking In Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC- Southern Mindanao)
Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP)
Human Rights Online Philippines (HRonlinePH.com)
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-KSK-FOE
Liga ng Makabagong Kabataan (LMK)
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
Medical Action Group (MAG)
Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC)
Partido Kalikasan (Philippine Green Party)
Partido ng Mangagawa (PM)
Partido ng Mangagawa (PM-Mindanao)
Peoples Development Institute (PDI)
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights)
Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI)
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK)
Pambansang Kalipunan ng mga Samahan sa Kanayunan (PKSK)
Social Action Center (SAC-Tandag Surigao Sur)
SOS Yamang Bayan Network
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
UMALAB KA Partylist
World March of Women – Pilipinas
Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND-Mindanao)
Youth for Rights (Y4R)
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
Republic of the Philippines
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1005
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
2. Hon. Loren Legarda
Senate Committee on Natural Resources
Rm. 209 GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 70 loc. 5537 to 5539
Direct Line: (632) 833-1606 / (632) 832-7627 / (632) 833-1434
Telefax No.: (632) 833-4987
3. Hon. Matugas, Francisco “Lalo” T.
House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources
District Representative, Surigao Del Norte, 1st District
3/F Annex Building, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telephone no. 9315001 local 7161,
Telefax no. 9513003
Committee Secretary – Mr. Raul G. Terso
4. Hon. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III
Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights
Rm. 512 GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 70 loc. 5548
Direct Lines: (632) 822-9758
Fax No.: (632) 822-9759
5. Hon. Romarate, Guillermo Jr. A.
House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights
District Representative, Surigao Del Norte, 2nd District
3/F Ramon V. Mitra Buillding, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telephone no. 9315001 local 7157,
Committee Secretary – Ms. Fely D. Parcon
Email: Committee on Human Rights