19 tribal clans affirm no to mining in Maguindanao
The members of the affected clans of the Teduray and Lambangian indigenous peoples stood firm in their declaration against the threat of mining in their communities in Datu Blah Sinsuat, Upi and South Upi municipalities.
“We are against mining for the present and future generations of our people and for our ancestral domain which will clearly be devastated by mining”, shared Rogelio Patricio during the presentation of the CSO-led fact-finding mission results of mining-related incidences in Maguindanao on November 28 in Cotabato City.
Patricio, 49, heads the organized clans whose members first reported the digging activities and taking of soil samples in barangays Rempes, Renti and Ranao Pilayan in Upi without going through the process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as required by the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act or R.A.8371.
The results of fact-finding mission conducted by civil society organizations that were led by the Kilusang Maralita sa Kanayunan (Kilos Ka) and the Legal Rights and Natural Resources-Kasama sa Kalikasan/Friends of the Earth Philippines on September 5 to 7 verified that “illegal mining activities took place in the ancestral domains of Teduray and Lambangian in Upi and parts of Datu Blah Sinsuat municipalities as early as April 23, 2014 until September 5, 2014”. So far, these activities have already “caused fear, anxiety, conflict, division and dissonance between and among community members”, the mission report further divulged.
The same communities were also the sites of logging concessions operated by Maguindanao Coastal Logging Concession and Pinansaran Logging Concession, Inc. which started operations in 1999. And now with the speculations on mining as shown by the digging and soil extraction from their lands, the tribal clans are fearful of its adverse effects to their sources of livelihood which have already become scarce because of the denudation of the forests and the destruction of watersheds through the years.
These indigenous communities are part of the claimants to the 201,850-hectare unified ancestral domain claim of the Teduray, Lambangian and Dulangan Manobo currently pending at the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
Spokesperson, KILOS KA Maguindanao
Atty. Grace Villanueva
Director, Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-KSK/Friends of the Earth Philippines
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