[Press Release] Groups blame Xstrata-SMI: “Their blood are in your hands!” -ATM

Groups blame Xstrata-SMI: “Their blood are in your hands!”
Mining is root cause of killing of indigenous peoples, envi advocates

Manila—Anti-mining and human rights group led an indignation rally at the Sagittarius Mines Inc.-Xstrata (SMI-Xstrata) Head Office in Makati, Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame early today condemning the massacre of Capion Family in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur last October 18.

Tampakan Forum, a technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue, blames the massacre to the U$5.2-billion gold-copper mining project—one of the largest mining investments in South-East Asia by SMI-Xstrata.

Facts of the Case

October 18, early morning. The 27th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army under the command of Lt. Dante Jimenez, raided the Capion farmhouse and strafed their nipa hut killing Juvy, 27 mother of four and wife of Daguil Capion, Jordan, 13, and John, 8. John was shot close-range.

Two other children, Ressa Piang and Becky Capion, were targeted when Aileen Capion, a relative of the family, called on the military men to stop shooting.

Aileen Capion recalled calling on the military: “Ayaw ninyo unsaa and mga bata, akoa na ang mga bata (Do nor harm the children. I will take custody of them).” A plea to which the military replied, “Mas maayo nga tiwason ang mga bata para wala’y witness (Better to finish off the children so that there will be no witnesses.)”

The military then claimed that there was an encounter between their group and the New Peoples’ Army, which Daguil Capion is a member. However, witnesses and initial investigations say otherwise.

Emmanuel Amistad, executive director of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, said: “It was not an encounter. The Philippine Army massacred unarmed, innocent civilians. They should not only be relieved; they should be dishonorably dismissed from service and criminal charges filed against them.

“The Capion famly were like meek lambs led to slaughter. They are not collateral damage, they are victims of human rights violations and for this, the military should be held responsible”Amistad concluded.

Atty. Mario E. Maderazo of PMPI said: “President Aquino should order the immediate pull-out of the 27th Infantry Battallion in Tampakan to ensure a thorough and impartial investigation by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).”

He added that his tragic incident and the past unsolved killings and human rights violations are enough reasons not to allow the Tampakan Mining project to proceed.

Mayor of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur calls for the capture of Daguil Capion ‘dead or alive’

Meanwhile, after the incident, Mayor Marivic Diamante of Kiblawan, announced a reward of Php 300, 000 for the captivity of Daguil Capion, dead or alive. She said it is to avoid a pangayaw (tribal instigated war) where the B’laan community might take revenge. (Reported by Inquirer Mindanao, 20 October 2012). ATM denounced this call by Mayor Diamante, accusing her of sowing more fear and tension in the area, instead of calling for sobriety and peaceful resolution of the case.

Reports last October 23 also said that the two children who survived were riding a habal-habal (motorcycle) on the way to Bishop Dinaulaldo Gutierrez house to seek refuge when a certain Josephine Malid, staff of SMI-Xstrata-supported foundation hailed them and asked them to ride a white truck, owned by the mining firm.

It was reported that Mayor Diamante wanted to take the two children to Davao, despite the fact that they were already with their relatives from the area. Atty. Cristina Hawtay of Commission on Human Rights Region XII pacified the tug-of-war between Diamante’s group and Daguil Capion’s mother. The children are now with the Social Action Center of Marbel.

Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina national coordinator said: “It is very clear that there is connivance by the mining company, the military and the local government units, even. It is very ironic that the mayor of Kiblawan is on the side of the military asking for the head of Capion, when she should lead seeking justice for the killing of the Capion family.

“Contrary to the claim of SMI-Xstrata that they will help the development of communities—THEY CAUSED THE KILLING ANTI-MINING ADVOCATES, AND EVEN CIVILIANS, AND THAT’S BLOOD IN THEIR HANDS. Capion and other tribal leaders are tasked to protect their ancestral domains, and it is for this reason that they have a strong stand against mining that will literally take away their land, but this is not respected by the mining companies—they resort to harassment, militarization, different forms of human rights violations to silence the opposition.”

The SMI-Xstrata Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (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.

# # #

For more information:
Emmanuel Amistad, TFDP Executive Director, tfdp@tfdp.org
Atty. Mario Maderazo, PMPI-AMC Project Coordinator, pmpsecretariat@yahoo.com
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02 
nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Research&Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

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One thought on “[Press Release] Groups blame Xstrata-SMI: “Their blood are in your hands!” -ATM

  1. Pingback: Isyung HR: A rights’ propaganda « The Mokong Perspective

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