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Bosses were not heard, rights and green groups dismayed for non-inclusion of AMMB in PNoy’s list of priority measures

PRESS RELEASE

August 1, 2014

sos ammb tmhm 

Bosses were not heard, rights and green groups dismayed for non-inclusion of AMMB in PNoy’s list of priority measures

 

Human Rights and environmental defenders are saddened that the legislation of the proposed Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) that would scrap the Mining Act of 1995 was not included in the priority measures released to media by the Office of the President.

 

SOS Yamang Bayan, a network of civil society organizations working for the legislation of the AMMB or House Bill No. 984 expressed their dismay over the refusal by President Aquino to heed their call to certify the bill as urgent.

 

The group launched a campaign last year which called on government to prioritize people above profit. They intensified the said campaign, dubbed as “Dapat Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Dapat AMMB Isabatas Na!” weeks before the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Aquino on July 28 to try to convince him to certify the AMMB as an urgent measure

 

However, while Bangsa Moro Basic Law and the Freedom of Information among others topped the list of the priority measures that the Office of the President released yesterday to media AMMB was not mentioned. Instead a Rationalization of the Mining Fiscal Regime that proposes to increase revenue collection from the mining industry was included.

 

“The President ignored the bosses and boses (voices) of the sectors affected by the ill effects of mining, and he instead sided with the illusions created by profit driven, greedy mining corporations,” said Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, the organization working as the secretariat of SOS Yamang Bayan Network.

 

It has been the appeal of the mining affected communities and Philippine civil society for government to scrap the Mining Act of 1995 or RA 7942 which has been criticized as the root cause of human rights abuses and environmental degradation since its legislation.

 

“Indigenous peoples were deprived of access to their means of subsistence, their right to food affected, and they are evicted from their ancestral land. Free Prior Informed Consent was abused and misused by Mining Companies. These are just some of the human rights issues brought about by a flawed mining policy- exacerbated by the Mining Act of 1995.” Amistad lamented.

 

Amistad also reminded the President about the killings brought about by disputes in mining affected communities, “IP leaders and their families were killed including children. Military elements were financed by mining companies to harass and sow fear among the people, just like in the case of Tampakan mines. Juvy Capion and her children, and many other IP elders were killed, massacred and threatened because they resist mining in defense of their land.”

 

 

 

“Most companies remain operational and perpetrators were not made accountable to impacts on environment and human rights despite the many cases.” Amistad added.

 

On the other hand, the business sector led by the Chamber of Mines in its Press Release in major newspaper urged President Aquino to retain the Mining Act of 95 saying that it is an effective piece of legislation if properly implemented.

 

But Jaybee Garganera, the National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a coalition that is also part of SOS YB Network reiterated that, “Mining as a driver of Philippine Economic growth is misleading. The mining industry contributes very little to our economy. It gives only 1.5 to 2 % to our GDP. It fails to provide a rational and comprehensive benefit-sharing among stakeholders.”

 

“The Mining Act of 95 is not consistent with sustainable development. It grants too many incentives for investments, including tax-breaks etc. at the expense of our people and our environment,” He added.

 

“Again, we want the president to know that although rationalizing the revenue from mining is a positive development that might benefit our country, it will not suffice to radically reform the flawed mining policy.” Garganera said

 

“A complete reform is needed. A complete change. Dahil dapat Tao Muna Hindi Mina. Hindi Tubo at kita ang inuuna. AMMB ipasa na!” the group concluded.###

 

 

For more information pls contact:

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0917) 549.82.18  <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>

Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 <checkzab@gmail.com>

Egay Cabalitan, TFDP Advocacy Staff, (0928) 844.37.17, <egay.advocacytfdp@gmail.com>

 

Dapat Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Dapat AMMB Ipasa NA!

WEBSITE https://taomunahindimina.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/sa-sona-dapat-tao-muna-hindi-mina-dapat-ammb-isabatas-na/

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina

TWITTER @TaoMunaDiMina

 

 

 

 

 

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[Photo] SOS YB’s Placards dance

@ Mendiola. Photo by Rommel Yamzon/TFDP

@ Mendiola. Photo by Rommel Yamzon/TFDP

Mimicking a “Placards dance” usually seen in Football games ceremony, the group performed their own to creatively deliver to the government and to the public their demands and to reiterate the state of the peoples’ rights and environment in mining affected communities.

Photo shot last July 23, 2014 at Mendiola (Legarda-Recto crossings). Photo by Rommel Yamzon/TFDP

Tuloy ang Photo Endorsement sign at letter sending. keep on tagging PNoy na “SA #SONA: #DapatTaoMunaHindiMina! #DapatAMMBIsabatasNA!” @noynoyaquino Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy)

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[Press Release] Group challenges PNoy to side with victims of human rights abuses and environment destruction and not with the greedy few

PRESS RELEASE
July 25, 2014

Group challenges PNoy to side with victims of human rights abuses and environment destruction and not with the greedy few
Demands Government to prioritize the scrapping of Mining Act of 1995 and the legislation of AMMB as urgent in his SONA

Photo by ATM

As part of the week-long pre-SONA campaign expressing their demands for President Benigno Aquino III (“Sa SONA: #DapatTaoMunaHindiMina! #DapatAMMBisabatasNA! Campaign) to Scrap the Mining Act of 1995, rights groups and anti-mining activists staged a pre-SONA creative picket protest in front of Mining Geo-Science Bureau (MGB) compound in North Avenue, Quezon City.

Mimicking a “Placards dance” usually seen in Football games ceremony, the group performed their own to creatively deliver to the government and to the public their demands and to reiterate the state of the peoples’ rights and environment in mining affected communities.

“We strongly demand that the Aquino administration act decisively on the issues of human rights and environment destruction.  We demand government’s respect, protection and fulfillment of our peoples’ rights and protection of our environment from corporate greed and impunity,” said Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of the human rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP).

“Inuuli-ulit po namin ang panawagan sa pamahalaan. Dapat kalikasan at tao ang inuuna hindi ang hungkag na kinikita ng pamahalaan at interes ng mga ganid sa tubo na mga korporasyon sa pagmimina,” Amistad lamented.

“Peoples’ lives and our environment are at stake here. Our Government must act according to its obligation.  Mining has failed to deliver its promises of increased revenue and benefits to the community.  What kind of government will tolerate these failures at the expense of peoples’ rights and environment,” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM).

According to reports the mining industry was only able to give the government 1% of the total GNP that led to the drafting of a mining revenue bill that will increase taxes from mining.

Garganera stressed that, “The Mining Act of 1995 or RA7942 is causing our environment and nation plunder, corruption and destruction that is equally unforgivable as DAP and PDAF. Worse like the DAP, what the government did is to recommend reforms that only prolong the much criticized ill-effects of this law to our peoples and environment. Instead of providing cure to rights violations and environmental destruction, the current mining law exacerbates the situation.”

He also said that, “We are very disappointed with government’s band-aid solutions that will not answer and provide remedy to victims of human rights abuses, natural resources exploitation and environmental degradation caused by mining that we have been reporting. We remind President Aquino that he must act for the rights and welfare of the majority of the Filipinos and not for the greedy few.”

Finally the group asked President Aquino,“How many more Glencore of Tampakan, Oceana Gold of Nueva Vizcaya, and others  must our people endure before you heed and take the side of the indigenous peoples, women, farmers, and other sectors in the mining affected communities that you tagged as your Bosses?

“President Aquino, you must scrap the Mining Act of 1995 now. You must certify as urgent the Alternative Minerals Management Bill!” the group demanded. ###

Note:
The “Sa SONA: #DapatTaoMunaHindiMina! #DapatAMMBisabatasNA! Campaign is initiated by members of the SOS Yamang Bayan Network. SOS YB is a network of human rights groups, green activists, women, workers and faith-based pushing for the enactment of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).

The campaign is also part of the colorful pre-SONA action tagged as July 25 GREEN MARCH calling for the passage of the three green bills, the Alternative Mineral Management Bill, Forest Resources Bill and the National Land Use Act.

For more information please contact:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0917) 549.82.18  <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 <checkzab@gmail.com>
Egay Cabalitan, TFDP Advocacy Staff, (0928) 844.37.17, <egay.advocacytfdp@gmail.com>

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PRESS RELEASE: Green activists and rights groups launch campaign asking PNoy to prioritize peoples’ rights and environment over profit from mining

PRESS RELEASE
July 19, 2014

Green activists and rights groups launch campaign asking PNoy to prioritize peoples’ rights and environment over profit from mining

A week before President Benigno Aquino’s 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 28, rights groups, environmental activists and advocates intensified their call for PNoy to act decisively on what according to them is the root cause of grave abuses on human rights and environment impacted on mining affected communities.

They reiterated the need to scrap the Mining Act of 1995 and certify as urgent the legislation of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).

The group is holding a nationwide appeal addressing President Aquino, through maximizing all forms of actions, including appeal letter sending, mass actions and social networking site. They are initiating a simultaneous and nationwide campaign which they dubbed as “Sa SONA: Dapat Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Dapat AMMB Ipasa NA!” a week before the SONA.

“Not acting on this law is a clear violation of human rights. It is submitting the peoples’ rights and welfare to corporate greed and thus promoting corporate impunity,” Jaybee Garganera, head of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) said pertaining to the Mining Act of 1995,.

“We have recorded numerous human rights abuses perpetrated by Mining Companies and human rights violations by some government personnel but the government remains numb and we received no decisive actions to address them,” Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) lamented.

“The bill to increase revenue from mining that was proposed and crafted by the MICC and that was submitted to the Office of the Presidents is not enough,” Garganera added.

“Although we welcome this proposal as a development, we see it as treating issues on mining as mere income and profit concerns and neglecting the issues of rights and environment,” he added.

The group explained that, “what our country needs is a law that would benefit us as a nation in a holistic manner – rights- based , environment friendly – and not in a profiteering, greed driven and destructive way. Facing the problems in piece meal legislations will not answer and justify the destruction that the said law has caused the environment.”

“It has been exposed many times, that the Mining Act of 1995 is a law that mainly prioritizes profit for the few over the rights and welfare of the many and at the expense of our environment. It has been proven to worsen the life of the people in the affected communities over claims and promises of progress and development,” Said Amistad.

In the middle of plunder, graft and corruption controversies in the government, the group cited that on the issue of mining, there are also alleged practices of corruption that concerned government agencies are allegedly involved in.

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who is facing charges on PDAF Scam is also the head of a political dynasty in Cagayan which has condoned and abetted the proliferation of black sand mining in the province despite repeated raids and arrests of miners with no proper permits.

“There are only two years left for President Aquino to once and for all heed the call for the scrapping of this law that causes not only too much suffering on our people but also destruction to our environment, PNoy must act now!” Amistad concluded.###

For more information pls contact:

Egay Cabalitan, TFDP Advocacy Staff, 09288443717, egay.advocacytfdp@gmail.com

Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 checkzab@gmail.com

 

Sa SONA: Dapat Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Dapat AMMB Ipasa NA!

WEBSITE https://taomunahindimina.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/sa-sona-dapat-tao-muna-hindi-mina-dapat-ammb-isabatas-na/

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina

TWITTER @TaoMunaDiMina

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SA SONA: DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA! DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA!

SA SONA: DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA!
DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA!

DAPAT copy

Dear friends,

We are launching a nationwide 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 on July 23, 2014 in this nationwide letter sending campaign before the coming State of the Nation Address –SONA of PNoy and the opening of Congress (July 28, 2014). The SA SONA: DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA! DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA! campaign 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 fax to the contact numbers of concerned Government agencies indicated below.

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 the following:
TFDP at 4378054 or email egay.advocacytfdp@gmail.com
ATM at 4403211 or email checkzab@gmail.com

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.

WHAT TO DO?
1.    On July 23, 2014 send letter to PNoy and other concerned government agencies with the attached 10 pt. HR Agenda on Mining.
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph

Sample letter https://taomunahindimina.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/sample-letter-to-pnoy/

2.    or Fax your letter (or the printed sample letter) to
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

ONLINE CAMPAIGN SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE
1.    Post the following as your FB and Twitter status and TAG President Aquino
SA SONA: DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA
DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA! @PresidentNoy

Or
SCRAP MINING ACT OF 1995! Certify AMMB as urgent this SONA! @PresidentNoy

Or
Share the e-poster  (https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina/photos/a.442845412465332.1073741827.442839565799250/658101927606345/?type=1&theater) @PresidentNoy

2.    ENDORSE THE 10 PT HR AGENDA ON MINING

Starting today, take a photo of yourself holding the paper with the slogan “SA SONA: DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA! DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA!” written on it, post to your FB and twitter account and TAG @PresidentNoy

Also use the hashtag #DapatTaoMunaHindiMina! #DapatAMMBIsabatasNA! And don’t forget to share your post at Tao Muna Hindi Mina FB page (https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina) and SOS Yamang Bayan FB page (https://www.facebook.com/LikasYamanCaravan)

3.    You can also help by inviting others to do the same by sharing our posts.  

4.    Join series of creative mass action on July 23-25 (For details pls contact TFDP at 4378054 or ATM at 4403211 (wait for further announcement)

Thank you.

 

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Sample letter to PNoy

DAPAT TAO MUNA HINDI MINA SA SONA

DAPAT AMMB ISABATAS NA!

Dear friends,

We are launching a nationwide 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 on July 23, 2014 in this nationwide letter sending campaign before the coming State of the Nation Address –SONA of PNoy and the opening of Congress (July 28, 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 or fax directly to the contact numbers indicated below.

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:

If you wish to make any inquiries please contact the following:
TFDP at 4378054 or email egay.advocacytfdp@gmail.com
ATM at 4403211 or email checkzab@gmail.com

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.

SAMPLE LETTER

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III

Republic of the Philippines

Malacanang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1005

Philippines

Fax: +63 2 736 1010

Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph

 

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.

CERTIFY AMMB AS URGENT.

10 POINT HR AGENDA ON MINING

  1. SCRAP Mining Act of 1995! Enact Alternative Minerals Management Bill.
  2. Stop large scale mining.
  3. Respect, protect and fulfill Indigenous Peoples (IP) Rights to self determination (FPIC).
  4. Protect women human rights defenders and IP women in mining areas.
  5. Stop exploitation of workers in Mining Sites.
  6. Protect our environment and right to safe, sound and balanced ecology.
  7. Stop the killings! Protect Human Rights Defenders!
  8. Stop displacement of rural folks. Protect the right to food, water, housing and access to means of subsistence.
  9. Stop militarization and deployment of investment defense forces.
  10. Justice for all victims of mining related Human Rights Violations. Stop development aggression!

Endorsed by:

AKBAYAN Partylist

Anak Mindanao -AMIN Partylist

Aniban ng Mangagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA)

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)

Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP)

BAWGBUG

Coalition Against Trafficking In Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)

FIAN Philippines

FIND

Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)

Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC- Southern Mindanao)

Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP)

Human Rights Online Philippines (HRonlinePH.com)

Kilusan (KPD-Mindanao)

KPML

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

SALAKNIB

SANLAKAS Partylist

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

Malacanang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1005

Philippines

Fax: +63 2 736 1010

Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph

 

 

2. Hon. Loren Legarda

Senate Committee on Natural Resources

Senate Office:

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

Email: loren@lorenlegarda.com.ph , appointments@osl.ph

Website: www.lorenlegarda.com.ph

 

3. Hon. Matugas, Francisco “Lalo” T.

Chairperson

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

Email: Committee on Natural Resources

http://www.congress.gov.ph/contact/popform.php?re=sendemail&to=committee&id=0526

 

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

Email: kokopimenteloffice@yahoo.com

Website: www.kokopimentel.org

 

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,

Telefax: 9324803

Committee Secretary – Ms. Fely D. Parcon

Email: Committee on Human Rights

http://www.congress.gov.ph/contact/popform.php?re=sendemail&to=committee&id=E507

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Join us in urging the Philippine government to support the resolution filed by a group of countries led by Ecuador in the UNHRC calling for a legally binding treaty on human rights and transnational corporations

corporateselfish copyFriends, let’s ask the Philippine government to “once again demonstrate leadership and commitment to human rights at the June 2014 UN Human Rights Council session by showing its support for a resolution that will seek to begin a process of developing an international treaty on business and human rights – the first binding international legal instrument to hold corporations accountable for their human rights abuses.”

We are Concerned about the continuing abuses and violations of human rights occurring all over the world which directly or indirectly engage the responsibility of business enterprises;

We are Concerned also that such abusive conduct often disproportionately impacts women, who comprise the majority of workers in the most vulnerable sectors, peasants, indigenous peoples, persons living in poverty, children among others, and especially concerned by the fact that justice is denied to those who suffer harm,

Considering the invaluable work done by human rights defenders and organisations, trade unions, indigenous rights and women rights defenders and others defending and protecting human rights in the face of corporate- related abuses,

Concerned at the incidence of attacks, harassment, restrictions, intimidation and reprisals against these human rights defenders,

But the Philippine Permanent Mission in Geneva is waiting for instructions from home base / DFA.

We need to call their attention. Join us in urging the Philippine government to support the resolution filed by a group of countries led by Ecuador in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) calling for a legally binding treaty on human rights and transnational corporations.

Show your support online by sharing this post and popularizing the hashtags #CorporateSelfish, #StopCorporateImpunity and offline on June 24 join us in a symbolic action at DFA to appeal for Philippine Government’s support for the proposed treaty.

 

http://hronlineph.com/2014/05/15/statement-joint-statement-call-for-an-international-legally-binding-instrument-on-human-rights-transnational-corporations-and-other-business-enterprises/

http://alyansatigilmina.net/2014/05/30/government-support-for-binding-rules-for-tncs-sought/

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“kalikasan at tao muna – hindi mina.” dahil hindi dapat tubo at kita ang inuuna sa pamamahala

“KALIKASAN AT TAO MUNA – HINDI MINA.” DAHIL HINDI DAPAT TUBO AT KITA ANG INUUNA SA PAMAMAHALA

Dear friends,

taomuna logo new copyThe 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 tfdp.1974@gmail.com.

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.

 

SAMPLE LETTER

 

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III

Republic of the Philippines

Malacanang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1005

Philippines

Fax: +63 2 736 1010

Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph

 

 

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Endorsed by:

AKBAYAN Partylist

Anak Mindanao -AMIN Partylist

Aniban ng Mangagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA)

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)

Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP)

BAWGBUG

Coalition Against Trafficking In Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)

FIAN Philippines

FIND

Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)

Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC- Southern Mindanao)

Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP)

Human Rights Online Philippines (HRonlinePH.com)

Kilusan (KPD-Mindanao)

KPML

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

SALAKNIB

SANLAKAS Partylist

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

Malacanang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1005

Philippines

Fax: +63 2 736 1010

Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@op.gov.ph

 

 

2. Hon. Loren Legarda

Senate Committee on Natural Resources

Senate Office:

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

Email: loren@lorenlegarda.com.ph , appointments@osl.ph

Website: http://www.lorenlegarda.com.ph

 

3. Hon. Matugas, Francisco “Lalo” T.

Chairperson

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

Email: Committee on Natural Resources

http://www.congress.gov.ph/contact/popform.php?re=sendemail&to=committee&id=0526

 

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

Email: kokopimenteloffice@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.kokopimentel.org

 

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,

Telefax: 9324803

Committee Secretary – Ms. Fely D. Parcon

Email: Committee on Human Rights

http://www.congress.gov.ph/contact/popform.php?re=sendemail&to=committee&id=E507

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Groups blame mining companies for killings, HRVs in Tampakan: “Their blood is in your hands!!!” -Tampakan Forum

Tampakan Forum Press Release
8 November 2013

Groups blame mining companies for killings, HRVs in Tampakan: “Their blood is in your hands!!!”

Tampakan Forum protest action in Makati. Photo by PMPI

Tampakan Forum protest action in Makati. Photo by PMPI

Members of the Tampakan Forum blamed the mining investments of Glencore, Xstrata, Indophil and Sagittarius Mines Inc of the Tampakan Gold Copper Project as the root of all human rights violations against indigenous communities in the mineral-rich area.

The activists gathered to give tribute to the lives of martyred environmentalists and human rights defenders, commemorated by advocates globally every Nov 10—anniversary of the death of Ken Saro Wiwa, a Nigerian environmentalist killed for his struggle against oil extraction in 1995.

Zoom in: Tampakan HRVs and killings

In Tampakan, host to the largest undeveloped copper deposit in Southeast Asia, there have been indigenous peoples killed due to their opposition to the mining project since the mining contract was issued .

Last year, Oct 18, a family was killed by members of the Philippine Army in an attempt to hunt down Daguil Capion—a Blaan leader who strongly opposed the project. To the military, Capion’s family members were mere collateral damage due to what they called as “operational lapses”.

After the October 2012 massacre, three separate military operations in January, June and August caused the killing of five more Blaans.

The groups believe that there is collaboration between the government and mining companies to displace affected communities to allow the operations of the Tampakan Copper Gold Project. While the B’laan communities continue to be threatened by the presence of military forces in their ancestral domains, more human rights violations were documented.

These human rights violations were attributed to the development investment there. This has been verified by several fact-finding missions by civil society organizations, and by a recent Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA ) done by an international institution. The study, which was done this year, found that the mining project, if pursued, would likely result in conflict escalation and more violence. The study concluded that operating the mine even in a responsible manner was not feasible. It also recommended the cancellation of the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) for the Tampakan project.

STOP THE KILLINGS!

In commemoration of victims of killings and human rights violations in Tampakan, groups in Manila marched to the SMI Office in Ayala Ave to condemn the killings.

”Since the entry of the Tampakan Copper and Gold Project in the quadri-boundary of South Cotabato, Davao Del Sur, Sultan Kudarat and Saranggani provinces, the lives of the affected communities especially the Blaans have never been at peace,” said Erwin Quinones of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center.

He added that about ten (10) anti mining community elders, leaders and members of the tribe already lost their lives, eight of which happened in the last 10 months at Bong Mal and perpetrated by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit or (CAFGUs) and Task Force KITACO.

Erita Capion Dialang, relative of the martyred IPs and Blaan leader asked: “Pila pa ka kinabuhi sa mga Blaan ang kinahanglan makalas aron maminaw ug motuo ang gubyerno na dili gyud dawat sa mga tribu ug bisan pa sa mga katawhan sa patag ang mina? (How many more lives of the Blaans have to be taken for the government to listen that this project is not acceptable to the IP’s and to the lowlanders?)”

They also held a prayer gathering and candle lighting activity in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to commemorate the lives of environmental heroes and human rights defenders who where killed in the struggle against mining and other development aggressions.

They reminded the government of its role to protect, respect and fulfill its human rights commitments, specifically in the context of a large development project like the Tampakan mining project.

The Tampakan Forum also demanded the total pull-out of the military in the mine-affected area, and that the mining contract be reviewed and eventually cancelled.

“Most importantly, we demand JUSTICE for all the victims of the violations and killings. Military personnel, private militias, and business companies should be held liable for the injustices they have caused. Especially, we need an explanation from the government on how they will resolve this problem, and their readiness to manage and handle such project that endanger the lives of the IP’s and the livelihood of the directly and indirectly affected communities,” said Rene Pamplona, advocacy officer of SAC Marbel.

The SMI-Xstrata FTAA for the Tampakan Gold-Copper Mining Project covers 23, 571 hectares in four provinces namely, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur, and Saranggani. The permit overlaps four ancestral domains including CADT 102, CADT 108, CADT 72 and CADC 74.

###

Tampakan Forum is a technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue convened by the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc (PMPI) in collaboration with the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Marbel, Alyansa Tigil Mina, Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC-KSK/FOEI), Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLINKS), Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights (LILAK), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and the London Working Group on Mining in the Philippines.

For more information:
Erwin Quinones, Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, wengquins@gmail.com (0917) 5853817
Rene Pamplona, Social Action Center—Marbel, renepamplona@yahoo.com.ph (0908) 1264530

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#Remember Rabenio Sungit, Palaw’an tribal leader, IP rights advocate against large-scale mining

we remember we resist#Remember Rabenio Sungit, Palaw’an tribal leader, IP rights advocate against large-scale mining

He championed the indigenous rights for ancestral lands against encroachments of large scale mining companies and other environmentally-destructive projects.

On September 5, 2011 at around 1:30pm, Rabenio Sungit was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle riding man wearing bonnet using a .45 caliber pistol in the public market along Pagayona Street, Municipality of Quezon, Palawan Province. Rabinio was with his wife, Trinidad and son Rocky when the incident happened. (Source: http://globalministries.org/news/eap/uccp-sungit.html)

His brother, Abe Sungit, a known staunch opposition and organizer against destructive mining operations and human rights violations, was also a victim of extrajudicial killing in 2005.

#TaoMunaHindiMina #WeRememberWeResist #EnvironmentalHeroesAndMartyrs

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#Remember Datu Roy “Boy Gamay” Quijada Gallego, Manobo tribal leader, radio commentator, IP rights and anti-mining activist

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA#Remember Datu Roy “Boy Gamay” Quijada Gallego, Manobo tribal leader, radio commentator, IP rights and anti-mining activist

Oct. 14, 2011: shot dead by two unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects along the national highway in Sitio Mamprasanon, Barangay Banahaw, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

Bayanihan Council of Datus (BACODA) Caraga Region, headed by Gallego, had also filed complaint against several concerned government officials of the NCIP, Bureau of Mines and Geo-Sciences (MGB) and DENR on why small-scale mining and large-scale mining permits were issued to some protected areas in the region that also violated rampantly indigenous people’s rights. (Source: PNA; http://www.piplinks.org/agusan-tribal-leader-and-radio-broadcaster-shot-dead)

#TaoMunaHindiMina #WeRememberWeResist #EnvironmentalHeroesAndMartyrs

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#Remember Fr Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, PIME, missionary, champion for indigenous peoples and the landless

#Remember Fr Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, PIME, missionary, champion for indigenous peoples and the landless

Fr pops tenorio2

Oct 17, 2011: shot to death between 7:15 – 7:30 am at the garage area in the compound of Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Arakan Valley, North Cotabato Province. (Source: http://www.justiceforfatherpops.org)

He said: “It is clear that it is the military that rules the country. They have been empowered by Martial Law. For me, as long as the military will not bow to civilian supremacy, no peace will come to communities.” (Said during the Forum of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform, Davao City, 2010)

#TaoMunaHindiMina #WeRememberWeResist #EnvironmentalHeroesAndMartyrs

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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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#Remember Datu Arpe Belayong, lumad leader

Photo by UCAN

Photo by ucanews.com

#Remember Datu Arpe Belayong, lumad leader killed due to their opposition to the mining activities within their ancestral land, 20 June 2011.

The killing of Arpe “Datu Lapugotan” Belayong was committed by members of the paramilitary groups Salakawan, led by a certain Laging Binsalan. Also killed on that fateful morning was his nephew Sulte San-ogan, when Binsalan’s group opened fire indiscriminately on the victims’ kubo in Mt. Manalog in Calabuan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

Injured were Belayong’s children aged 14 and four.
In 2009, Belayong’s elder brother, Datu Mampaagi Belayong was also killed by members of the paramilitary groups Task Force Gantangan-Bagani Force and the Bungkatol Liberation Front. (Source: http://www.piplinks.org/ip-group,-supporters-call-congressional-inquiry-killings-lumad-leaders)

Photo by ucanews.com

#TaoMunaHindiMina #WeRememberWeResist#EnvironmentalHeroesAndMartyrs

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#WeRememberWeResist -Dr. Gerry Ortega—environmental advocate, broadcast journalist, veterinarian

Dr. Gerry Ortega—environmental advocate, broadcast journalist, veterinarian.

Dr. Gerry Ortega—environmental advocate, broadcast journalist, veterinarian.

Dr. Gerry Ortega—environmental advocate, broadcast journalist, veterinarian.

Doc Gerry as many know him, was gunned down last January 24, 2011, after his morning radio program “Ramatak” in DWAR in Puerto Princesa City. He is a crusader who only wanted to protect Palawan’s communities and rich biodiversity, Philippines’ ‘last frontier’.

In the last months before his death, he had been receiving death threats because of his efforts to expose bribery in the government manifest in the endorsing of mining projects in his radio program. He was very vocal against mining in Palawan.

Immediately after Ortega’s death, the 10-million signature campaign to stop mining in Palawan was launched led by Bantay Kalikasan chief Ms. Gina Lopez. The campaign started with the call to stop mining in the province and evolved to stopping mining activities in key biodiversity areas and in critical ecosystems. Today, the signature count has already reached about more than 2-million.

*According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Ortega is the 142nd journalist killed since 1986. He was the third journalist slain under the Aquino administration.

Commemorate the sacrifice and struggles of martyred environmental and community rights defenders.

Nov 10—the death anniversary of Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa, who with his eight comrades, was killed by hanging by military personnel. They were killed in 1995 because of their sttuggle against Shell and other oil companies in the Niger Delta. Climate justice activits commemmorate Nov 10 as the Global Day of Action Against Oil as part of the Global Month of Action Against Dirty Energy.

Since 2010, we have joined the global commemoration. Here we give tribute to Ken Saro Wiwa, and the lives of Filipino environmentalists and human rights defenders who sacrificed their lives for the mining struggle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More action needed to tackle business-related abuse of indigenous people’s rights

More action needed to tackle business-related abuse of indigenous people’s rights

Pavel Sulyandziga. Photo from en.wikipedia.org

Pavel Sulyandziga. Photo from en.wikipedia.org

NEW YORK / GENEVA (29 October 2013) – States and businesses need to do more to tackle and prevent the violation of indigenous peoples’ human rights as a result of business-related activities, a United Nations independent expert body has said.

“Indigenous peoples are among the groups most severely affected by the extractive, agro-industrial and energy sectors,” said Pavel Sulyandziga, Chair of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Mr. Sulyandziga presented yesterday the UN Working Group’s first thematic report*, which explores the challenges faced in addressing the adverse effects of business activities on indigenous peoples’ rights, to the UN General Assembly in New York.

“Negative effects range from indigenous peoples’ right to maintain their chosen traditional way of life, with their distinct cultural identity, to discrimination in employment and in accessing goods and services,” the expert noted.

“There are challenges involving land use and ownership, and also displacement through forced or economic resettlement. Such disruption often leads to serious abuses of civil and political rights, with human rights defenders in particular put at risk,” Mr. Sulyandziga said. “Indigenous peoples are also often excluded from agreements and decision-making processes that irrevocably affect their lives.”

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Rights defenders increasingly branded “enemies of the State” over development projects, UN expert warns

Rights defenders increasingly branded “enemies of the State” over development projects, UN expert warns

Photo from OHCHR.org

Photo from OHCHR.org

NEW YORK / GENEVA (29 October 2013) – Human rights defenders working on behalf of communities affected by large-scale development projects are increasingly being branded ‘anti-government’, ‘against development’ or even ‘enemies of the State’, a UN independent expert has warned.

Human rights defenders trying to help communities affected by projects such as the construction of hydroelectric power stations, dams, and roads or the operations of various extractive industries were being “harassed, stigmatized and criminalized for doing their work,” the Special Rapporteur for human rights defenders Margaret Sekaggya said on Monday in a report* to the UN General Assembly.

They also faced threats, including deaths threats, and physical attacks. “But rather than being against development, defenders plan an important role in advancing it,” she highlighted.

In her report, Ms. Sekaggya calls for a rights-based approach to large-scale development projects, which would include the principles of equality and non-discrimination, participation, protection, transparency and accountability, including access to appropriate remedy.

“It is essential that communities and those defending their rights are able to participate actively, freely and meaningfully in assessment and analysis, project design and planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects,” said Ms. Sekaggya. Such participation can contribute significantly to defusing tensions, she added.

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Groups condemn dismissal of murder case against Army’s 27th IB -Justice for the Capion massacre DENIED

Press Statement
October 24, 2013

Groups condemn dismissal of murder case against Army’s 27th IB
Justice for the Capion massacre DENIED

Juvy CapionSupport groups of anti-mining communities affected by the Tampakan Copper Gold Project condemn the dismissal of the criminal charges against members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines 27th Infantry Battalion.

Last year, Oct 18, Juvy Capion and her sons John and Jordan were killed in what the 27th IB admitted as “operational lapses”.

Before the 1st anniversary of the massacre, the Provincial Prosecutor of Davao del Sur dismissed the case as they find that evidences filed are “circumstantial and insufficient to establish probable cause of murder.”

“This is outrageous! This is outright denial of justice not only for the Capions but all victims of killings and human rights violations by military personnel. This tells us that military agents can easily run away from criminal charges,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.
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Groups march to Supreme Court, Mendiola to demand remedies to mining issues

Groups march to Supreme Court, Mendiola to demand remedies to mining issues

Reiterate call to stop the plunder of Philippine mineral wealth

Photo by Egay/TFDP

Photo by Egay/TFDP

500-strong activists marched to the Supreme Court to call on Justices to respond to a mining-related petition, Thursday September 12, 2013. From the High Court, the group continued to march to Mendiola to call on the executive to fully implement the provisions of Executive Order No. 79, s. 2012.

In a creative action, with a 6-feet Scales of Justice—with objects to symbolize mineral produce and environment and natural resources and peoples affected—the marchers asked the Supreme Court to come out with its decision with regards to a petition filed in 2008 questioning the constitutionality of the economic provisions of the Republic Act 7942.

“The government gets almost zero to nil from mining, and the mining industry contributed measly to our domestic growth. It’s because the present mining law failed to ensure that the government and the people get an equitable, if not favorable share from the extraction of minerals which it actually own,” said Erwin Quinones of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center.

He added that there is no reason why the court should deny the petition and call on the highest tribunal ‘to rule in favor of the interest of the Filipino people, and declare these provisions and the entire law as unconstitutional.

“As the people are mobilizing against pork barrel, another form of plunder has been happening in our country for many years: the plunder of our mineral resources,” said Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of Akbayan Partylist.

She added: “We call for the prosecution and punishment of all government officials, private individuals, and mining corporations guilty of plundering our environment and natural resources. If the government is aghast at the corruption brought to light by the pork barrel scam, the more it should take action against the corruption that leads to the destruction of our environment.”

They also demand for justice for victims of human rights violations and reparation for tragedies in mine sites. Under President Aquino, there have been a total of twenty-four mining-related killings. Most recent is the killing of a Blaan elder and his son last month.

“It is unfortunate that the “matuwid na daan” has led to more human rights violations including the right to life in mining-affected communities. We must not only stop the plunder, we must stop the plague of death and destruction. Tama Na, Sobra na, Itigil na ang pagmimina!” said Emmanuel Amistad, executive director of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines and lead convenor of the Tao Muna, Hindi Mina Campaign.

Additionally, a total of fifteen large-scale mining tragedies have affected millions of lives. Philex’s Padcal tailings pond spill August last year caused the spillage of 20-million metric tons of sediments to the Balog and Agno River and impacted the water source of northern Luzon provinces and Metro Manila. It has also affected the livelihood of communities whose livelihood depends on the impacted areas.

These are some of the justification for their call for TAO MUNA, HINDI MINA!

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Anti-mining groups stage rally in front of international mining conference venue Demand a stop to the plunder of our mineral wealth

Anti-mining groups stage rally in front of international mining conference venue
Demand a stop to the plunder of our mineral wealth

Photo by ATM

Photo by ATM

Community leaders from mining-affected areas and their support groups in Manila marched to Sofitel Plaza Hotel to demand a stop to the plunder of our mineral wealth as the Chamber of Mines and international miners open their International Mining Conference.

Rallyists wore masks of ex-Senate President Enrile, former Sen. Manny Villar, Manuel Zamora, former DENR Secretary Mike Defensor, infamous pork barrel queen Janet Napoles, Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa—and of sad faces. The identified people are allegedly cohorts of the mining industry in Malacañang, if not miners themselves.

“We are here to expose to the public who the bigger, more powerful and worse thieves than Janet Napoles – the global miners and their allies among the Filipino government officials,” Judy Pasimio, coordinator of Purple Action for Indigenous Women Rights said.

“The Filipino people have expressed so much anger about massive corruption among our elected officials. We should be able to bring this same anger, if not stronger, and repulsion to the issue of high-level and systematic theft of our minerals, forest and waters by transnational mining corporations aided by Filipino government officials-cum-businessmen who profit from this themselves. The impacts of such thievery of our natural resources by large-scale commercial mining operations have great adverse impacts not just for the communities affected, but for all the Filipino people who are part of this whole web of eco-system – not just now, but for generations to come. They steal not just our resources, but also the future of all the communities who rely on these resources for survival,” Pasimio added.

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Interfaith groups march to international mining confab venue to reject miners

Interfaith groups march to international mining confab venue to reject miners
Solemn prayer offered for victims of mining-related violence, tragedies

Photo by ATM

Photo by ATM

A hundred-strong Church leaders, seminarians, lay and community representatives marched to Sofitel Plaza Hotel carrying torches and candles formed “STOP MINING” on Monday (September 9, 2013).

Groups led by the Association of the Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) and Faith-based Congress Against Immoral Debts held a liturgical prayer and cultural celebration on the eve of the opening of an International Mining Conference.

Fr. Marlon Lacal, O.Carm, executive secretary of the AMRSP led the prayer. He said, “We call on the people behind mining-related tragedies, killings, and violence, put a stop to these. We are all creations of the Heavenly Father and we ought to be stewards of the environment and our brothers and sisters.

Tonight, we pray not only for the past tragedies, but for our future, and the future generations who are the rightful owners of a safe and nurturing environment.”

Community leaders, who shared their negative experiences and struggles against mining in their provinces, including Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan, South Cotabato, and Zambales, joined them.

“In Creation based on Biblical accounts, Nature or the Environment is our elder brother/sister. As Filipinos, we must pay respect to our “kuya or ate,” but what is happening now, Mining Companies and the Philippine Government are not giving their “respect.” So we urge this companies and government to pay respect, STOP THE IRRESPONSIBLE MINNING!” said Bryan Paler, project coordinator of FCAID.

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Solon, advocates call SC to declare mining law unconstitutional, Call current mining tax system a scam

Press Release
September 7, 2013

Solon, advocates call SC to declare mining law unconstitutional
Call current mining tax system a scam

atmAnti mining groups called on the High Court to come out with its decision on a 2008-petition questioning the constitutionality of Sections 80-81 of the Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7941) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 2007-12.

Specifically, the sections pertain to supposed income derived from Mineral Processing Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) and Financial and/or Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs).

Decision despite government pronouncements on new mining fiscal regime

Years after the petition were filed; it was only this July this year when the Oral Arguments were concluded. Meanwhile, Senate President Drilon and executive officials are announcing the government’s initiative to push for a new mining fiscal regime, increasing income from mining produce.

Akbayan Rep. Ibarra “Barry” Gutierrez said, “It is my fervent hope that the Supreme Court decides quickly and favorably on our petition against Sections 80-81 of the Mining Law, which are deemed inimical to the national interest. Under the prevailing policy regime, there is a huge inequitable distribution of benefits and costs that puts the host communities and the government at a disadvantage. The 1995 Mining Act favors large mining companies, neglects social, health and environmental problems that mining entails, and has failed to uplift the lives of our people.”

Furthermore, since mining activities are in areas where the most vulnerable sectors reside, such Indigenous Peoples, farmers and fisherfolks, the prevailing policy works to the detriment of the rights and interests of those that need the most in terms of government support and protection, Rep. Gutierrez added.

“The communities who petitioned this, together with the petitioners of the La Bugal case filed in 1997, are waiting for the Court’s decision. We believe that despite initiatives to increase income from mining—the Filipino people is being scammed by the current tax system in mining. There is a need to put an end to all these questions,” added ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera.

He also said: “We have heard during the Oral Arguments how the La Bugal-B’laan vs. Ramos case decided in 2004 has failed to give a fair sharing of benefits from mining, between the State and the mining companies. In effect, in our mining contracts, we are at the losing end.”

The two were guest speakers at the Kapihan sa Quezon City held at Annabel’s Restaurant Saturdays.
Push for a new minerals management law

Rep. Gutierrez is also one of the authors of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)—a bill that seeks to repeal RA 7942. SOS Yamang Bayan Network pushes for the AMMB; it aims to put in place framework for the sustainable and responsible use of our mineral resources.

SOS Yamang Bayan Network National Coordinator Erwin Quiñones added: “What we need is not a piecemeal reform by way of amending the fiscal regime of the flawed Mining Act of 1995 but a totally new policy framework that will not only ensure equitable sharing of mineral products but also ensure the protection of community rights and environmental sustainability.”

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:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Erwin Quiñones, SOS YB National Coordinator (0921) 304.48.84 wenquins@gmail.com
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

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Stop the Plunder! Tao Muna, Hindi Mina!

stop the plunder4 copy (1)

Press Release
September 6, 2013

Groups launch Anti Mining Solidarity Week of Actions
Call on Chamber of Mines, government: Stop the Plunder! Tao Muna, Hindi Mina!

Groups led by Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) launched a week-long campaign opposing the Chamber of Mines’ push for more mining investments in the country.

“Every September since President GMA’s time, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP) organizes an international mining conference packaging the Philippines as a mining hub. Every year, our groups opposing the current framework of aggressive promotion of large-scale mining, denounce this through our creative actions,” explained Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM on Friday.

“Destructive large-scale mining is the plunder of our natural wealth, much as the pork barrel scam was a plunder of the taxpayer’s money. This time, we call on the government to no longer allow the plunder of our mineral wealth. Let us find a way to manage our mineral resources and maximize it for our national industrializations,” Garganera added.

The groups are also lobbying for the review of the current Mining Law (RA7942) and eventually passage of an Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB). Champions in Senate and the House of Representatives support them.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner-Baguilat, one of the authors of the AMMB, said: “My Congressional Report on IPs and Mining in the 15th Congress surfaced a lot of mining problems in ancestral domains and indigenous communities.

“This is why we believe that it is about time to revisit our mining policies and address its flaws. We believe that if my co-legislators are willing and that if all sectors actively participate in the discussions, we can come out with a new policy that allows us to maximize our mineral resources and, at the same time, ensure the protection of our environment and rights of the people.”

The AMMB is currently filed in the two Houses as House Bill No. 984 and Senate Bill No. 43.

Meanwhile, mining-affected communities and their support groups are also waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision in their petition to declare unconstitutional Sections 80-81 (fiscal regime) of RA7942.

Garganera concluded, “In the midst of all these issues on the pork barrel scam and plunder cases, we hope that the Administration and the different offices will respond.”

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:
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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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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RESPECT & PROTECT the #HumanRights of Indigenous Peoples opposing mining in Tampakan. DAPAT #TAOMunaHindiMINA!

stop killings in tampakan copyDemand and assert that Pnoy should ACT IMMEDIATELY. STOP The #killings in #Tampakan! RESPECT & PROTECT the #HumanRights of Indigenous Peoples opposing mining in Tampakan. DAPAT #TAOMunaHindiMINA!

“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,” -Repost from previous statement of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

 

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2 dead in fresh violence at Tampakan mine site–military- MindaNews.com

2 dead in fresh violence at Tampakan mine site–military

By Bong S. Sarmiento on August 23 2013

MindaNewsKORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/23 August)– A revered “bong fulong” or tribal elder in the mines development site of foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) was killed Friday morning in another fresh violence at the controversial Tampakan copper-gold project, allegedly by soldiers pursuing an armed tribal group in the area, various sources said.

The military said “two armed tribal members were killed in an encounter with government troops.”

Reports gathered by the Social Action Center (SAC) identified the victim as Anteng Freay, head claimant of the Ancestral Domain territory of the Atbol B’laan territory.

“We are still validating if two other children of the victim were also killed,” said Rene Pamplona, SAC advocacy officer.

Pamplona told MindaNews that relatives of the victim were not allowed by the military to go to the house of Freay, as fighting still raged on hours after he was reported killed.

Read more @www.mindanews.com

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His Excellency, President Benigno Aquino III, DENR/MGB and LGU’s: STOP MINING IN HOMONHON ISLAND

 

HGHToHvlBwymdwj-556x313-noPadTo: His Excellency, President Benigno Aquino III, DENR/MGB and LGU’s: STOP MINING IN HOMONHON ISLAND

Petition by
HOMONHON ENVIRONMENT RESCUERS ORGANIZATION – HERO

Homonhon Island has a fragile habitat and ecosystem. The Island is within the Pacific Ring of Fire and tsunami prone area. Homonhon Island is an important landmark of Philippines History where it was where Ferdinand Magellan first landed on March 16, 1521 and marked the discovery of the archipelago and MINING in the Island had destroyed the Island’s habitat and ecosystem making the place a hostile place to live in and becoming life more miserable, destroyed the relationship among family members, relatives and friends, and understandably, giving an avenue to prominent government officials for corruption, AND MINING IN HOMONHON ISLAND IS VIRTUALLY “A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY”.

Click and sign petition @www.change.org

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ATM Statement on the Downscaling of the Tampakan Mining Project

14 August 2013

 

ATM Statement on the Downscaling of the Tampakan Mining Project

 

atmThis is a victory for the B’laan people, the local communities in Tampakan and the Provincial Government of South Cotabato.

 

Contrary to the claims of SMI, Indophil and Xstrata, the government rules on mining projects are clear.  The miners have i) failed to secure the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of the indigenous B’laan communities; ii) failed to secure the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the DENR, and iii) failed to convince the local government to overturn its ban on open-pit mining.

 

SMI, Indophil and Xstrata had failed to comply with Philippine laws and regulations, and can’t be allowed to proceed.

 

Employment and livelihoods will not be drastically affected with this downgrading of operations.  In fact, 80,000 farmers will continue to benefit from the Mal River as water source to irrigate more than 200,000 hectares of farmlands in South Cotabato alone.  Around 4,000 hectares of forestlands will be preserved, to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The rights of indigenous peoples will now be respected.

 

The struggle continues.  ATM will sustain its support to the struggle of B’laans to resist the entry of mining in their ancestral domains.  We will work with farmers and women groups to upscale and expand sustainable agriculture.  We stand in solidarity with the local government of South Cotabato to define its own path of sustainable development, without destructive and irresponsible mining.

 

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:

 

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, nc@alyansatigilmina.net, 0927.7617602

Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Research and Advocacy officer, policy@alyansatigilmina.net

 

 

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Petitioning Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III Stop the Tampakan Mining Project!

Petitioning Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III
Stop the Tampakan Mining Project!

Petition by
Broderick Pabillo
Manila, Philippines

Despite the existing ban on open pit mining issued by the local government unit of South Cotabato, the residents and indigenous peoples community are still under grave threat from the world’s fourth largest copper producer Xstrata Copper, and its Philippine contractor— SMI Philippines.

This is because of the existence of the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement signed by the Office of the President that allows SMI to conduct large-scale exploration, development and utilization of an estimated average of 360,000 ounces of gold and 375,000 tons of copper per annum within a mine area covering approximately 10,000 ha (SMI 2013: 11). The open pit would reach an extent of 500 ha and a depth of 785 m while the topsoil stockpile would cover an area of 5 ha and the pit ore stockpile 49 ha (AECOM 2011: 2-9).

If realized, the Tampakan Copper-Gold Mine would be the largest open-pit mine in the Philippines and one of the largest of its kind worldwide. It straddles the jurisdiction of two regions, four provinces, four municipalities and nine barangays. The area is predominantly characterized by rainforest. About 5,000 people – approximately 1,000 households – inhabit the affected area and will require resettlement of inhabitants majority belonging to indigenous communities.

An independent Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) on Tampakan conducted by the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) exposed various moments of government deficiencies referring to the human rights of people possibly affected by the Tampakan Project. The HRIA observed 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 also pointed out that the operations of SMI-Xstrata in Tampakan poses 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.

Read and sign petition @www.change.org

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Indigenous women – still at the margins of development by Judy A. Pasimio (LILAK)

Indigenous women – still at the margins of development
by Judy A. Pasimio
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

Photos by Susan Corpuz of Lilak

“In a period of lethargic global economic activity, we registered an astounding 6.8 percent GDP growth in 2012. We surpassed this in the first quarter of 2013, when we reported growth of 7.8 percent—the highest recorded GDP in East and Southeast Asia.” This was what President PNoy Aquino declared in his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA). According to him, Philippines is now considered a “rising tiger” by the World Bank.

While there is a broad acknowledgement of these growth statistics, there is also a widespread analysis that this growth has not trickled down to the masses, and that inclusive growth is necessary. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) defines inclusive growth as “sustained growth that creates jobs, draws the majority into the economic and social mainstream, and continuously reduces mass poverty.” So what is the grand plan of PNoy in making this much-touted growth more inclusive? Does he have any? If he does, he did not discuss that in his SONA. His emphasis was on sustaining growth. PNoy apparently believes that this number of 7.8% actually means that the lives of poor Filipino peoples have improved. In his SONA, he goes on further, “The transformation of our society is not just evident in the economy or in statistics. Now, Filipinos know: Rich or poor, with or without political connections, when you do wrong, you will pay the consequences. Now, justice is truly blind.”

But with all due respect, Mr. President, we think it is you who are blind, to not see the real conditions of the poor Filipino peoples.

Here are the thoughts of indigenous women who personify the poorest of the poor in our societies. Hearing what PNoy considered as the accomplishments of his administration, the indigenous women expressed disappointment, sadness and even outrage on the lack of attention on, and the exclusion of the plight of indigenous peoples, and the natural resources, on which this so-called development of the government has heavily relied on and on which the survival of indigenous communities depend on. We share the indignation that the indigenous women felt in hearing the president talking about justice, and sounding so fierce in warning about punishment for the killing of suspected carnapper/murderer members of the Ozamis Gang. Aquino, with all the menace he could muster said, “ . . . we will ensure that those at fault will be held accountable—regardless of their rank. Whoever masterminded all of this: prepare yourselves. I am close to learning who you are.” But what about those who masterminded the massacre of the B’laan leader Juvy Capion, and her two sons Jordan, 13 years old, and John, 8 years old last October 2012? We already know who was the lead in this gruesome Tampakan massacre – members of the 27TH Infantry Battalion of Philippine Army led by 1Lt. Dante Jimenez, Commanding Officer of Bravo Company, under the command of Lt. Colonel Noel Alexis Bravo, Battalion Commander. There was an official admission that the military men shot at the family, and they said it was an “operational lapse.” But we have not heard such livid protest, nor warning to the erring military officers from the President. The Indigenous women ask, what does that say about the bias of the President? The Ozamis Gang deserves justice, and the anti-mining indigenous leaders, and those who defend their land such as Juvy Capion and her children, don’t?

What is the focus of this government? Who is the focus of the President in his development program? In his quest for justice? Who are included in inclusive growth? The indigenous women felt, again, excluded, not just in his SONA, but in his whole development program.

We call on the President that in his next, and last, three years of administration, to walk away from this trickle-down formula of development which has not worked, and will never do. What is inclusive growth anyway? It is high time that the government not just aim for the poorest of the poor to be simply included, as if as an afterthought, in the development designed to enrich the richer, to provide more opportunities to the already privileged. Development should start from the margins, focusing on the poorest, the hungriest – the indigenous peoples. This is not just growth, not just development. This is justice.

Indian writer and activist, Arundhati Roy said, “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. They are only deliberately silenced or preferably unheard of. The indigenous women will not be silenced, until they are heard.

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Groups call on PNoy: Likas Yaman Depensahan, Karapatan Proteksyunan Enact three green bills—NLUMA, FRB, AMMB

Photo by PhilRights

Photo by PhilRights

Groups call on PNoy: Likas Yaman Depensahan, Karapatan Proteksyunan
Enact three green bills—NLUMA, FRB, AMMB

Days before President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), at least five hundred advocates and activists marched to the House of Representatives in Batasan to call on the President and Congress to defend the Philippine’s natural resources and protect people’s rights through the enactment of three green bills.

Calling for the enactment of the National Land Use Management Act (NLUMA), Forest Resources Bill (FRB) and Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) are the Campaign for Land use Policy Now! (CLUP Now!), Sagip GUBAT and SOS Yamang Bayan networks.

The “Green Groups” urged PNoy to recognize these urgent concerns in his SONA and to certify urgent the three “Green” bills that will not only address our environmental problems but also protect the rights of Filipino communities to a thriving environment and livelihood opportunities.

Erwin Quiñones, national coordinator of SOS Yamang Bayan explained: “Two years ago we asked the President: gawing luntian ang tuwid na daan. Unfortunately, he failed us. Now we call on the government again to prioritize these three environment bills that will address land use problems, deforestation and minerals management.

“Eventually, these legislative measures will contribute to the rehabilitation and stability of our eccosystems and will raise our capacity to fight the impacts of climate change and a growing population ,” he added.

Photo Green March (pre SONA 2013) with our lead green champions at the House of Representatives. greenresearch.gwen@gmail.com

Photo Green March (pre SONA 2013) with our lead green champions at the House of Representatives. greenresearch.gwen@gmail.com

Reps. Barry Gutierrez III of Akbayan Partylist, Teddy Brawner-Baguilat Jr of Ifugao, Jorge “Bolet” Banal of the 3rd Distict of Quezon City, and Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat, who support these bills met the group as they arrived in Batasan. The group is composed of indigenous peoples, farmers and fisherfolks, urban poor, women, human rights advocates, environmentalists and students.

Rep. Gutierrez urged President Aquino to ‘paint’ his administration green and champion important laws to safeguard the environment.

“President Aquino during the start of his administration used the color yellow as a symbol in the people’s campaign to fight for transparency and end a corrupt past and then employed the color purple in the struggle for the passage of the Reproductive Health law. It’s just fitting that, in the remaining years of his presidency, he should also paint his administration green and push for the passage of laws crucial for the protection of the environment,” according to Gutierrez.

NLUMA already has the support of President Aquino which he mentioned in his SONA in 2010 and certified as urgent piece of legislation last Congress. However, the bill was derailed in the Senate after it was reverted back to the Second Reading with the motion of reconsideration at the last minute by Senator Marcos, Enrile, and Villar. NLUMA was also excluded in the list of agenda last 2 session days in the Senate ending its chances of being passed into law last 15th Congress.

Reps. Kaka Bag-ao, Teddy Baguilat, and Jorge Banal refiled the National Land Use and Management Act last July 1. In the Senate, Sen. Gregorio Honasan also refiled the National Land Use bill that will rationalize the holistic and just allocation and use of our country’s land and natural resources.

Rep. Banal, principal sponsor of NLUMA stressed “We have pushed for the enactment of a National Land Use and Management Law during the 15th Congress and we are steadfast in fighting for its passage.”

He also encouraged everyone to support this campaign for NLUMA for this will “ensure sustainability and ecological balance, distributive justice in the allocation of land and water resources”.

Meanwhile, re-elected Ifugao Rep. Baguilat eagerly refiled the Forest Resources Bill last July 1.

“I strongly believe it is imperative that Congress pass all three green bills because they address the lack of a proper framework for the use and management of our natural resources. Our lands, waters, forests and minerals are not just sources of raw materials to be exploited but are resources that should be wisely managed for the benefit of present and future stakeholders. We hope Malacanang will support all three bills as well and not just fiscal incentives for investments,” stressed Rep. Baguilat.

The three bills have been filed in both Houses of Congress as House Bill No. 108 and Senate Bill No. 63 (NLUMA), House Bill No. 95 and Senate Bill No. 45 (FRB), and House Bill 984 and Senate Bill No. 43 (AMMB), respectively.

Rep. Bag-ao promised: “In this 16th Congress, we will not let the opportunity pass to enact the NLUMA, AMMB and FRB into laws. These three environmental bills must be prioritized by this Congress to jumpstart the deliberations and debates towards the speedy passage of these laws. ”

The networks challenge this Congress to be “Green Heroes” and immediately tackle and pass these bills.

The Executive Branch led by President Aquino is also called on to support the urgent passage of these critical resource laws, together with promoting a better policy and fiscal environment for investments. .

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For more information, contact:
Kim Alvarez, CLUP Now!, 0918-6545059 kbalvarez@gmail.com
Eric Dorente, Sagip GUBAT Network, 0922-8151938 advocacy@haribon.org.ph
Farah Sevilla, SOS Yamang Bayan Network, 0923-5122374 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

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

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.

“The recent attempted murder of Eking Freay and Sonny Boy Planda adds to the series of unsolved killings victimizing the B’laan community opposing the Tampakan Copper Gold Mining project. The incident clearly illustrates that communities affected by large-scale and destructive mining operations consistently serve as magnets of violence, deception and other forms of human rights violations,” said Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, executive director of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center.

Simbulan also called on the different government agencies to immediately take action.

“We call upon concerned agencies of the Aquino government specifically the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Justice Department to immediately take action so that justice may be served to victims of the crime. We likewise, urge the Commission on Human Rights to implement measures that will protect the indigenous peoples’ right to life and security.”

Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action—Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA) added: “This kind of incident demands immediate action from the State that should protect and uphold the rights of Filipino peoples. Such impunity done towards our indigenous brothers and sisters in Tampakan is unacceptable. Gathering that this is mining-related, if not solely due to mining investments, then the more that mining should not be allowed in the area.”

During a Congressional Hearing of the National Cultural Communities chaired by Rep. Teddy Brawner-Baguilat in February 2013, then Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante confirmed that Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) is providing funds for the CAFGU and military operations in the KITACO area.

“We demand an immediate investigation of government offices concerning this. This is not a random event and most importantly, this is not the first time that anti-mining indigenous peoples are killed in Bong Mal, where there is strong opposition to the Tampakan mining project,” Garganera concluded.

The groups maintained that opposition to mining operations in the country are nearing tense levels, as violence and human rights abuses against anti-mining communities also escalate. The same environmental and human rights groups urge Congress to pass a new mining law to address these conflicts.

ATM is part of the Tampakan Forum, a coalition of international and local organizations that serves as 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:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, PhilRights Executive Director nymia.pimentel@gmail.com
Fr. Edu Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA Executive Secretary edugariguez@gmail.com
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

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[Petition] DENR Sec. Ramon Paje: That Pres. Aquino Cancel the FTAA of SMI-Xstrata Tampakan Mining Project

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Sec. Ramon Paje: That Pres. Aquino Cancel the FTAA of SMI-Xstrata Tampakan Mining Project

Petisyon ni
Fr. Oliver Castor, CSsR
Quezon City, Philippines

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Despite the existing ban on open pit mining issued by the local government unit of South Cotabato, the residents and indigenous peoples community are still under grave threat from the world’s fouth largest copper producer Xtrata Copper and its Philippine contractor SMI Philippines.

This is because of the existence of the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement signed by the Office of the President that allows SMI to large-scale exploration, development and utilization of an estimated average of 360,000 ounces of gold and 375,000 tons of copper per annum within a mine area covering approximately 10,000 ha (SMI 2013: 11). The open pit would reach an extent of 500 ha and a depth of 785 m while the topsoil stockpile would cover an area of 5 ha and the pit ore stockpile 49 ha (AECOM 2011: 2-9).

If realized, the Tampakan Copper-Gold Mine would be the largest open-pit mine in the Philippines and one of the largest of its kind worldwide. It straddles the jurisdiction of two regions, four provinces, four municipalities and nine barangays. The area is predominantly characterized by rainforest. About 5,000 people – approximately 1,000 households – inhabit the affected area and will require resettlement of inhabitants majority belonging to indigenous communities

An independent Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) on Tampakan conducted by the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) exposed various moments of government deficiencies referring to the human rights of people possibly affected by the Tampakan Project. The HRIA observed 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 occurring and 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 .

Para kay:
Secretary Ramon Paje, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
That Pres. Aquino Cancel the FTAA of SMI-Xstrata Tampakan Mining Project

Dear Mr. Paje,

Greetings of Peace!
We, residents of South Cotabato together with our fellow Filipinos from the rest of the country respectfully request your good office to help us stop the human rights violations and grave attack to the environment in South Cotabato by cancelling the Financial and Technical Assesment Agreement of Sagittarious Mines, Inc in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

An independent Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) on Tampakan conducted by the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) as commissioned by MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation, the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund (Fastenopfer) as well as the Swiss protestant development organization Bread for All, recently published on June 13, 2013 observed 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 occurring and high risks to the human rights of vulnerable population should the project proceed, such as violations against the rights to an adequate and meaningful Information and participation, livelihoods, Health, education, culture, and the fundamental right to life, security, and liberty .

In conclusion, a high degree of social volatility and hightened risk of environmental depredation highlight that the possibility to conduct large-scale open-pit mining in a way that is responsible from a human rights perspective does not seem feasible in Tampakan in the current situation.

If realized, the Tampakan Copper-Gold Mine would be the largest open-pit mine in the Philippines and one of the largest of its kind worldwide.

Please do not let this happen to the people of Tampakan. Please do not let this continue to happen to the B’laan tribe. Please be instruments of human rights and stewards of the Philippines’ environment.

Sincerley yours,

Rev. Fr. Oliver Castor, C.Ss.R.

Sumasainyo,
[Ang iyong pangalan]

Sign petition @ https://www.change.org/ph/mga-petisyon/department-of-environment-and-natural-resources-denr-sec-ramon-paje-that-pres-aquino-cancel-the-ftaa-of-smi-xstrata-tampakan-mining-project?utm_campaign=share_button_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

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SOS Yamang Bayan Network General Assembly

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SOS Yamang Bayan Network 2nd General Assembly held in July 1 and 2 2013. Photo from SOS YB FB.

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Show your support for the campaign to Enact the AMMB, use the hashtag #AMMBnow!

Show your support for the campaign to Enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill, use the hashtag #AMMBnow!

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SOS-Yamang Bayan Network: Alternative Minerals Management Bill filed in both Houses as Senate Bill No. 43 and House Bill No. 984.

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Champions from the Senate and House of Representatives re-filed the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) that will repeal the Mining Act of 1995

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.

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 <wenquins@gmai.com> or Farah Sevilla, 0923.512.2374 / 0915.331.3361 <policy@alyansatigilmina.net>.

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Anti-mining campaigners led bike tour against Ph mining law

Sikad Padyak laban sa Mining Act of '95. Photo by Susan Corpus/Lilak

Sikad Padyak laban sa Mining Act of ’95. Photo by Susan Corpus/Lilak

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.”

Photo by Susan Corpus/Lilak

Photo by Susan Corpus/Lilak

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, nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Erwin Quiñones, SOS-YB Network Coordinator, 0921.304.4884, erwin.quiñones@lrcksk.org

 

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What is wrong with the Mining Act of 1995?

What is wrong with the Mining Act of 1995?

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RA 7942 or the Mining Act of 1995 essentially caters to the need of the global extractives industry players.To access mineral areas and control the use of minerals to feed the global corporate demand for raw materials and energy in the production, distribution and consumption of commodity products—a system wholly motivated by profits.

In fact, it was due to pressures from the global extractives industry, Northern countries (or first world countries like the US and Australia), and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, that the current mining law of the country came about. In the 80s towards the 90s, during the push for structural adjustment programs (SAPs) by the IFIs, countries like the Philippines were forced to change their mining laws to facilitate the entry and access of multinational mining corporations in mineral rich countries worldwide.

The current law facilitates the entry of corporations into ecosystems and community territories for the exploration and extraction of minerals to be shipped out of the country in exchange for revenues from the corporations. The government has not been shy in saying that the mining industry is essentially an elaborate investments baiting and revenue making scheme or PLAK (peralangangkatapat).

Even with this frank admission, it still is a big lie because with the overgenerous fiscal incentives regime of the Mining Act and other laws, the corporations only need to leave us with a few loose change in exchange for our mineral resources, leaving large scale and long term destruction to the environment and communities in their wake. In perpetuating this system, RA 7942 has been used to sabotage local government efforts to protect the health, environment and livelihoods of their constituents; corrupted the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process of indigenous peoples communities; rendered inutile the Environmental Impact Assessment System; and has brought about a long string of human rights violations against communities and individuals resisting mining.

Source: SOS Yamang Bayan Network Primer on AMMB

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Tao muna -hindi mina! Campaign Theme Song

Tao muna -hindi mina! Campaign Theme Song original composition and performed by Fr. Oli Castor, PMPI.

Dapat Tao at Kalikasan Muna, hindi Tubo at kita. Dapat Tao Muna-Hindi Mina!

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Dapat Tao Muna Hindi Mina sa SONA!

HR Agenda sa SONA copy

Tapos na po ang Eleksiyon, may mga nagwagi sa ating mga kasangga para sa 10 pt HR Agenda, may mga hindi rin pinalad at natalo.  Mahaba pa po ang ating laban… Tuloy ang paggigiit sa mga nakapwesto sa pamahalaan na dapat tao at kalikasan muna, hindi kita. Dahil dapat Tao Muna –Hindi Mina! Dapat 10 pt HR Agenda on Mining sa SONA!

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List of Organizations endorsing the 10 Pt. Human Rights Agenda on Mining (as of May 10, 2013)

List of  Organizations endorsing the 10 Pt. Human Rights Agenda on Mining (as of May 10, 2013) 

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AKBAYAN Partylist
Anak Mindanao -AMIN Partylist
Aniban ng Mangagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA)
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP)
BAWGBUG
Coalition Against Trafficking In Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
FIAN Philippines
FIND
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC- Southern Mindanao)
Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP)
Human Rights Online Philippines (HRonlinePH.com)
Kilusan (KPD-Mindanao)
KPML
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
SALAKNIB
SANLAKAS Partylist
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
UMALAB KA Partylist
World March of Women – Pilipinas
Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND-Mindanao)

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Hundreds gathered in mining-affected areas in PH Launched Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Campaign

Press Release

29 April 2013

 

Hundreds gathered in mining-affected areas in PH

Launched Tao Muna Hindi Mina! Campaign

 

Quezon City – Thousands of advocates, indigenous peoples, children and women, and electoral candidates gathered last April 22 and 23 in commemoration of Earth Day and to join the launching of a “Tao Muna, Hindi Mina!”

Tao Muna-Hindi Mina! Campaign puts large-scale mining as a major electoral issue that candidates should be able to respond to and to remind the government of the peoples demand for a moratorium on large scale mining.

Actions led by mining-affected communities and support groups

 

Groups from mining-affected communities and localities threatened by entry of mining in their areas organized signature campaigns and mobilizations in their local centers to raise awareness on the campaign and gather more support from the peoples. The areas in Luzon include Lallo in Cagayan, Iba and Sta Cruz in Zambales, Puerto Princesa City and Brooke’s Point in Palawan, Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya, Sibuyan in Romblon.

In Cagayan, Candidates from Governor down to the municipal mayor joined the gathering in Lallo and signed a covenant with the people in support of the 10-Point Human Rights Agenda on Mining.

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In Brooke’s Point, 300 participants from indigenous communities, Church, farmers and fisher folks attended. LGU candidates also attended the program and delivered statements of support and signed the 10-Point Human Rights Agenda on Mining tarpaulin to show their commitment. IP leaders (Panglima) from Brgys. Malis, Salogon, Samareniana, Saraza, Oring-oring, Amas, Pangobilian, Mainit, Aribungos, Ipilan, Mambaloy and Maasin graced the event.

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In Nueva Vizcaya, more than 200 gathered at Brgy Pao, Kasibu to commemorate Earth Day and protest the illegal entry of the drilling machines that will be used for exploration activities by Royalco/Buena Suerte Mining Corporation. Leaders and people from Brgys Malabing, Pacquet, Siguem, and Didipio are among those who participated.Image

Photos by Jonal Javier

Sambal people, on the other hand, organized a 12-vehicle motorcade and rally in Sta. Cruz led by Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz. Then in Iba,  100-strong advocates from Olongapo, Subic, Cabangan, Botolan, Iba and Sta Cruz gathered in the Capitol.  The representatives from the different areas shared their opposition to mining and how it impacts their livelihood and threatens their lands.

The Chairperson of the Provincial Board Committee on Environment Eric Ebarle was there to listen and join the people in advocating for a healthful environment; he said Zambales should protect its forests, mountains and water bodies and maximize them to promote tourism.

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Meanwhile, in MacArthur, Leyte, Unahin Natin Lagi Ang Diyos-Bito Lake Fisherfolks Association gathered at the site where hundreds of activists put up a barricade to stop mining. It was in Villa Imelda where fish kills were found to be partly due to water contamination from mine wastes.

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ImagePhoto by Tess Tabada

In Mindanao, thousands gathered in Surigao City, Agusan del Sur, Saranggani and Koronadal City in South Cotabato.

On Earth Day, April 22, Led by SAC-Tandag, Nagpakabana nga Carcanmadcarlanon (NnC), anti-mining and environmental groups from Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur gathered at the DENR-MGB office and demanded that MGB Dir. Roger de Dios resign from his post. Rallyists planked in front of the MGB in commemoration of Earth Day.

They were also joined by Iglesia Filipina Independiente priests and laymen from Dinagat, Siargao Island and Surigao City, and the United Church of Christ of the Philippines and some 3,000 members of the Nagkahiusang Gagmay’ng Minero (Nagami) and their families.

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Groups in Dinarawan, Lake Mainit in Agusan del Sur for their part, opted for a solemn protest rally and candle lighting. The people remain strong in their stand against mining in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.

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Tao Muna, Hindi Mina Online Campaign

Meanwhile, endorsers of Tao Muna Hindi Mina! also launched an online campaign to raise awareness on the different negative impacts of large-scale mining in the country. As of today, more than 100 supporters have posted their photos holding posters of Tao Muna, Hindi Mina! and sharing them to their Facebook friends.

Leaders and organizers of the campaign are hopeful that this will inform the electorates; especially at the local level whom to put in key positions and at the same time get a positive response from future leaders that they will support the call to prioritize communities rights over the failed promises of mining companies.

For more information, please email taomunahindimina@gmail.com, or contact 0921-9645017 (Egay) or 0923-5122374 (Farah).

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina, Twitter https://twitter.com/TaoMunaDiMina, and WordPress <taomunadimina.wordpress.com>.

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Gina Lopez, Ms Earth runners-up join Sibuyan, Romblon Officials’ launching of Tao Muna, Hindi Mina! Campaign

Gina Lopez, Ms Earth runners-up join Sibuyan, Romblon Officials’ launching of Tao Muna, Hindi Mina! Campaign

2012 Miss Earth Philippines runner-up Princess Manzon, ABS-CBN Foundation Managing Director Dr. Gina Lopez, 2012 Miss Earth Air Stephanie Stefanowitz and Romblon Office of the Governor Chief of Staff Ms. Trina Firmalo - all for TAO MUNA, HINDI MINA campaign.

2012 Miss Earth Philippines runner-up Princess Manzon, ABS-CBN Foundation Managing Director Dr. Gina Lopez, 2012 Miss Earth Air Stephanie Stefanowitz and Romblon Office of the Governor Chief of Staff Ms. Trina Firmalo – all for TAO MUNA, HINDI MINA campaign.

More than a thousand residents of Sibuyan Island in the province of Romblon marked Earth Day (April 22) with the rejection of mining approval and applications through a simultaneous caravan and prayers through the intercession of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecological protection.

Ten thousand prayer cards with the image of the saint were embedded along the seven-kilometer stretch national highway in San Fernando town. They were joined by Bantay Kalikasan Managing Director Gina Lopez, 2012 Miss Earth Philippines runner-up Princess Manzon, 2012 Miss Earth Air Stephanie Stefanowitz and Romblon Office of the Governor Chief of Staff Ms. Trina Firmalo.
Gina Lopez, champion of eco-tourism said: “Let us eradicate poverty through eco-tourism and the protection of the environment with integrity and compassion. Mining will destroy the beauty of Sibuyan Island, choose candidates who will defend the environment – for God, country and people!”

Considered as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspot, Sibuyan Island has been dubbed by conservationists as Galapagos of Asia: home to the world’s densest forest and the country’s cleanest inland body of water, river category, the Cantingas River. The whole island is protected as it has been proclaimed as a mangrove swamp forest reserve and its core zone is the Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park.

“Protected as it is, a large-scale mining permit has been granted by former environment Secretary Lito Atienza through a midnight deal three days before he resigned in 2009 opening almost 1,500 hectares of land for mineral production sharing agreement,” said Mayor Dindo C. Rios of San Fernando, Romblon.

Sibuyan youth support the call of Tao at Kalikasan Muna, Hindi Mina.

Sibuyan youth support the call of Tao at Kalikasan Muna, Hindi Mina.

“The national government’s Mining Industry Coordinating Council or MICC mandated by President Aquino’s Executive Order No. 79 must review the approved agreement as soon as possible, thus, we are strongly calling the members of the council to visit our island and see for themselves how delicate our island is,” stressed Mayor Rios.

Different churches and religions through an ecumenical forum have gathered petitions and more than 120 thousand signatures to halt mining in the province of Romblon especially in Sibuyan Island. They are calling to uphold the integrity of creation.

Fr. Noel Sixon, parish priest of Our Lady of Remedies Parish said: “We must protect creation, the earth is abused and dying. We must save Sibuyan Island, God-given gift to us. I will not endorse names in the coming elections but choose candidates who are pro-God, pro-People, pro-Family and pro-Environment.”

Joining Sibuyan Island Earth Day Celebrations, and endorsing Tao Muna Hindi Mina 2012 Miss Earth Air Stephanie Stefanowitz said: “We should protect, preserve and conserve our environment for us and the future generations to come; let us make everyday Earth Day.”

For more information, please email taomunahindimina@gmail.com, or contact 0921-9645017 (Egay) or 0923-5122374 (Farah).

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No to Corporate Mining Harlem Shake

Published on Apr 22, 2013

No to Corporate Mining Harlem Shake

by Powerful Women Against Corporate Mining


Cast

Celyn as Starter/Manananggal
Marelie as Babaylan
Mia as Sirena
Yen as Punong Saging
Jean as Urduja
Clydie as White Lady
Janix as Mangingisda
Hazel as Super Inday
Ampy as Diwata

Production

Borgie