Tag Archives: Xstrata

[Statement] Tampakan massacre victim kin seeks UN intervention -SAC Marbel

Tampakan massacre victim kin seeks UN intervention

A 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]

Protest against SMI. Photo by ATM

Protest against SMI. Photo by ATM

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

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

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

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

Support 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.

Juvy Capion

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.

According to Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, Executive Director of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center ”The dismissal of the case against the military is an outright travesty of justice and a clear indication of the kind of justice system that prevails in the country.”

“The victims and their families are crying for justice and for the perpetrators of the killings to be held accountable for their actions. Mining-affected communities particularly of indigenous peoples have consistently experienced various forms of human rights violations committed by groups and individuals who are supposed to protect their rights and interests. . The killing of the Capions is only one case and we should continue to seek justice for them and the other victims,” Dr. Simbulan stressed.

What happened?

The Social Action Center of Marbel Diocese have documented the whole incident and according to the statements signed by the witnesses, the military operation was legitimate and planned to capture Daguil Capion-husband of Juvy and father of the two (2) children who died during the operation.
Additionally, witnesses heard a military say “Tapusin na yan (finish them off!).” The only survivors of the Capion massacre is Vicky (then 4y/o) and Ressa (then 11y/o) who were able to run to the adjacent hut. Vicky was shot in her right ear.

SAC-Marbel Advocacy Officer Rene Pamplona added: “We call on the national agencies, specifically the Department of Justice and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to intervene and not let this case pass.” He added that the documents gathered from the witnesses, Commission on Human Rights Resolutions, Board of Inquiry of the AFP and the ongoing Court Marshall Proceedings gives bearing to the case.

More killings; HRVs

January 29, 2013: Kitari Capion and Diyo Capion were killed during a raid conducted by Task Force KITACO.

June 28, 2013: Eking Freay and his brother-in-law, Sonnny Boy Planda, were ambushed after selling corn and buying goods from Brgy. Kimlawis. Planda was killed on the spot.

August 23, 2013: Anteng Freay and son Victor Freay, were killed near their home in Bulol Kalon allegedly by the members of the Division Reconnaissance Team of the 10th ID, PA, together with the members of the Task Force KITACO detailed in Datal Alyeng detachment.

Garganera concluded: “We call on the Aquino Administration to take this issue seriously—Tampakan is only one of the mine sites infested by military forces and that result in different forms of violations—these should be pertinent actions done to this. It is about time that we focus on human rights over mining investments.”

”We do not know how the provincial prosecutors have come to their resolution but we know that the Capion murder happened and that we will not stop until we give justice to the Capions, Freays, and the militarized communities,” Pamplona further added

Tampakan and nearby communities are militarized to protect the mining investments of Sagittarius Mines Inc, Xstrata and Indophil.

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. ATM is also part of the TAO MUNA, HINDI MINA Campaign.

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
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

Press Statement
October 24, 2013

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Blog] Human rights report rattles XSTRATA-SMI By Bernie Lopez

Human rights report rattles XSTRATA-SMI
Admits funding the military
By Bernie Lopez
eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

Sister Raquel Blog

The Tampakan Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) is an international study, which was triggered mainly by two factors. First was the escalating violence and killings in the Tampakan proposed mine site area after Xstrata-SMI began exploration, and after the massacre by military elements of the wife and two sons of Daguil Capion, an anti-mining leader (see Youtube links at the end). The suspects are now facing a protracted military court trial. The second factor was the indirect complicity of Xstrata-SMI in human rights violations due to admittance by the Kiblawan Mayor during a congressional hearing that Xstrata-SMI was funding military elements. In fact, SMI openly and casually admits it gave a million pesos to Task Force KITACO, the military group overseeing the proposed mine area.

The pathetic replies of Xstrata-SMI to the HRIA are a rehash of old obsolete retorts of the mining industry already proven wrong. And what was strange is the copy emailed to this author by SMI Public Affairs, did not have a letterhead, and was unsigned. Were they indeed rattled by the report? Did they have an utter fear of coming out in the open, if they indeed felt they had something substantial to say. The preliminary reply on the draft HRIA was signed by Callow.

(Author’s note. This article is a bit lengthy because it gives a historical overview. Readers can go direct to Part 2, if they know the overview. Part 1. Overview. Part 2. SMI Response to the HRIA.)

Read full article @www.sisterraquel.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] ATM Statement on the Downscaling of the Tampakan Mining Project

14 August 2013

ATM Statement on the Downscaling of the Tampakan Mining Project

atm-logo

This 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

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[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

yktMdKRRrNOnIBm-556x313-noPad

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

[From the web] An Xstrata mine threatens human rights in the Philippines -www.misereor.org

An Xstrata mine threatens human rights in the Philippines

Misereor

(Lucerne/Berne/Aachen, 12 June 2013) The Zug-based group Glencore-Xstrata is showing insufficient respect for the rights of the affected population with its plans to exploit one of the world’s biggest open-pit mines in the Philippines. Because the project threatens the livelihood of tens of thousands of people, tensions are rising and the first deaths have occurred. That is shown by a study commissioned by the Swiss Lenten Fund, MISEREOR and Bread for All. The Swiss government is now challenged to act.

Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), a subsidiary of the Zug-based giant Xstrata group, that has merged with Glencore, plans to exploit the biggest copper and gold mine in Asia in Tampakan, Philippines. “About 5,000 indigenous people would be relocated and their traditional land destroyed. The mine would also threaten the water supply of tens of thousands of people,” says Father Joy Pelino, the director of the Social Action Center of Marbel diocese, who opposes the project. The area is politically unstable and violence is increasing: already, eight people have been killed in the context of the project. The powder keg is about to explode.

A study conducted by the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) shows that SMI has contravened its obligation of due diligence. The UN’s Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights state that companies are responsible for respecting human rights worldwide. Precisely in such an area of conflict they must conduct prior, detailed investigations of the effect of their activities on human rights. For Daniel Hostettler, human rights expert of Lenten Fund, one thing is clear: “A mix of government failure, a poor and marginalised population, and armed conflicts are the worst possible preconditions for operating an open-cast mine of these dimensions.” The INEF study therefore concludes: “It seems today that conducting the mine project will not be possible without a
serious impact on human rights.”

The aid organisations Lenten Fund, MISEREOR and Bread for All are calling upon SMI and the Philippines government to enter into an honest dialogue with the people concerned – that could even lead to dropping the project.

“The rights of the indigenous population to freely decide on the operating of mining projects in their territory must be respected,” asserts Elisabeth Strohscheidt, development policy expert from MISEREOR. The Swiss federal government should also take action: the rights without borders campaign calls for legislation so that due diligence becomes a binding standard for corporations. The Tampakan example shows that voluntary standards alone are not enough. Beat Dietschy, general secretary of Bread for All, declares: “Swiss companies have to respect all human rights, all over the world.”

Opposition to the Tampakan project also comes from Basel Bishop Felix Gmür. The president designate of the foundation council of Lenten Fund has been to the Philippines and seen with his own eyes how “people’s dignity and rights are being trampled underfoot and there is ruthless plundering of creation.” For him it is quite clear: “From a Christian perspective, striving for profit must not override the fundamental rights of the population.”

http://www.misereor.org/about-us/campaigning/human-rights.html

[People] SMI-Xstrata Mining Company funds paramilitary groups by Judy A. Pasimio

SMI-Xstrata Mining Company funds paramilitary groups
by Judy A. Pasimio
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

Judy Pasimio photo from lilakIt is appalling to hear the confirmation of Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante and military officers that Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) is providing funds for Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit or CAFGUs and military operations in the areas of its operations.

While this has always been the suspicion, given the scary and deadly enthusiasm of the military in eliminating opposition against SMI, the brazen admission of Mayor Diamante of the regular funds the local government has been receiving for Task Force Kitaco and the CAFGUs seems so callous of the plight of the B’laans under the hands of the military. Task Force Kitaco (Kiblawan, Tampakan, Columbio), according to the military, was created to provide peace and order in these areas.

The disclosure was made in the Congressional hearing of the National Cultural Communities Committee chaired by Cong. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. held in Koronadal City.

The funds, which are supposed to be used for the implementation of SMI’s community-based peace and security plan, are given to the local government units. How much exactly is being received by the LGU from SMI, this was not disclosed by Mayor Diamante. But from the testimony of the military, it was revealed that there is a monthly allocation of P9,000 for operations, P11,000 for gasoline, and P5,000 allowance for each CAFGU. There are currently 60 CAFGUs deployed in the municipalities of Kiblawan, Tampakan and Columbio. Imagine how much is being given to the LGU monthly. And we need not imagine how rabidly Mayor Diamante and the military defend SMI, even in the face of the clear involvement of the military in the B’laan killings – Juvy Capion and her two sons; and lately, Kitari, the brother of Daguil Capion. Daguil Capion is one of the B’laan leaders who have been defending their ancestral domains, and fighting the SMI. Daguil is the husband of Juvy and the father of the Jordan and John. Mayor Diamante also admitted that she had to put up a bounty of P300,000.00 on the head of Daguil as incentive for the B’laans to turn over Daguil.

So it is SMI’s hand which feeds the military and paramilitary operations in the B’laan territories. And it is SMI’s hand which breeds violence.

But it is the Office of the President, through Exec. Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. which hurried the DENR to issue the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to SMI. And it is the DENR, through Secretary Ramon Paje, who finally issued the ECC. This, despite the recent killings of B’laans in SMI’s mining areas, the volatility of the peace and order situation in these areas.

Go figure.

judy.lilak@gmail.com

(Note: I attended the Congressional Hearing of the National Cultural Communities Committee in Koronadal, chaired by Cong. Teddy Baguilat / Feb. 21, 2013)

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Kiblawan mayor confirms Sagittarius Mines link to escalating militarization in Tampakan -ATM

Kiblawan mayor confirms Sagittarius Mines link to escalating militarization in Tampakan
Says military receives subsidy for allowance and operations

atm-logoKoronadal City – Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante disclosed that Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) is actually providing funds for the allowance and operations of the military and paramilitary groups within the towns of Kiblawan, Tampacan, Columbio, all covered by the SMI mining permit.

Diamante, in her testimony to the recently-held congressional hearing of the National Cultural Communities Committee, explained that a memorandum of agreement was signed in July 2006 by the local governments of Kiblawan, Tampakan and Colombio with SMI. This MOA was the basis of the deployment of 120 Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) men in the areas, and the creation of the military led Task Force KITACO. Task Force KITACO has been implicated in killings of B’laan leaders and anti-mining activists in the provinces.

The congressional hearing held in the provincial gym of Koronadal City was initiated by the Committee Chair Congressman Teddy Baguilat, Jr, to look into the intensifying militarization in the provinces and the series of killings of indigenous peoples within mining areas, with particular focus on the massacre of Juvy Capion and her two children in October 2012. The family of Capion is known to be leading the struggle for the B’laans ancestral domain, and against SMI.

SMI community-based security plan

The mayor’s report corroborated the testimony of the Col. Norman Marcos Flores, new commander of the 1002nd Brigade, who confirmed that the Philippine Army is providing security to the KITACO growth area and to implement SMI’s community-based security plan in Tampakan and Kiblawan.

The Philippine Army identified 128 incidents of security threat against SMI from 2007-2012, and they find this as a valid reason for their presence in the area to offer protection for the mining company. In exchange for this, SMI provides monthly allocation for the operations, for gasoline, and allowance for CAFGUs directly deployed in Kitaco areas. SMI has doubled the monthly allowance of each CAFGU from the government budget of Php2,700/month to Php5,400.

Government-SMI collaboration against mining-affected communities, indigenous peoples

Rene Pamplona, of Social Action Center (SAC-Marbel) said, “Instead of the military defending the people—it defends and protects foreign investments and kills community members The government is killing its own people because of this mining problem. Depite the killings, and the violence in SMI mining areas, the government still issued the environmental compliance certificate (ECC). ”

SAC-Marbel is helping indigenous peoples in dealing with the killings and other human rights violations due to the militarization of their ancestral lands.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) sites of struggle officer Daniel Arias said: “SMI can no longer deny that these killings are rooted in the presence of its mining project and this was confirmed by the testimony of Mayor Diamante and the military. Truly, the blood of Juvy, and her children, Kitari, and all others who were killed are in their hands!”

“The situation painted by the testimonies of the military, the police, Mayor Diamante and the B’laans is very clear – the military is paid by SMI to protect its investment at all cost, even at the cost of the lives of the B’laans who are fighting for their land. And the Aquino government? It just issued the ECC to SMI. So the bias is clear. And it’s tragic,” Judy A. Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) added.

Philippine Miserior Parnerships Inc Anti Mining Campaign Advocacy Officer Atty. Macki Maderazon who was also present during the said hearing further said: “This deadly deal between the LGUs of Kiblawan, Tampakan, Columbio and SMI puts the human rights of the mining-affected communities especially those who oppose it at greater risk of being violated further.

“This is not in accord with the duty of the government to protect the human rights of the people against corporate abuses and with the responsibility of corporations to respect human rights under the UN Framework and Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights to which our government is one of the signatories. Policy on greater accountability of mining corporations and affording remedies to victims of corporate abuses should now be considered in Congress. The current mining law and even the new E.O. 79 failed to consider this.”

Meanwhile Rep. Baguilat in his closing message said that it is wrong to identify indigenous peoples who are opposing mining as bandits. He added, as an indigenous person himself that for them land is life and it is their right to defend their ancestral lands.

Baguilat concluded: “Kung anu ang desisyon ng pamayanang katutubo, yun ang dapat sundin at i-respeto.”

Mayor Diamante last year posted a reward of Php300-thousand for the capture of Daguil Capion immediately after the killing of Capion’s wife Juvy and two children. (Read: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/superbalita-davao/balita/2012/10/21/p300000-ganti-sa-makatudlo-sa-gitagoan-ni-daguil-capion-249099) She added in her testimony that she did this so that community members will be motivated to point out where Capion can be found, as he is considered a bandit.

During the public hearing, a survivor (minor, not to be named) and witnesses to the Capion massacre last October 19 were interviewed by Congs. Nancy Catamco, Neri Colmenares, Luz Ilagan, and Manny Pacquiao. Thereafter, the representatives found serious flaws in the way the case was handled by the military and the police.

Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) is the local partner of Swiss Xstrata and Indophil for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project. It has been awarded a mining permit over ancestral domains of the B’laans.

Tampakan Forum is a technical working group on the Tampakan mining issue.

For more information:
Atty. Macki Maderazo, PMP-AMC Advocacy Coordinator, pmpsecretariat@yahoo.com, 0922-8501873
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, nc@alyansatigilmina.net, 0927-7617602
Farah Sevilla, Policy Research and Advocacy Officer, policy@alyansatigilmina.net, 0915-3313361

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Govt draws flak over Tampakan ECC as groups warn of more environmental disasters, rights violations -InterAksyon.com

Govt draws flak over Tampakan ECC as groups warn of more environmental disasters, rights violations
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com
February 20, 2013

InterAksyon logo2ANGELES City, Pampanga – The government is coming under fire for granting an ECC to Sagittarius Mining Inc., with senatorial candidate Migz Zubiri saying the move ‘disregards’ concerns for the environment and local stakeholders.

“I’m saddened by the decision because it shows disregard for a provincial ordinance that bans open pit mining in the province” of South Cotabato, Zubiri said on Wednesday.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources – acknowledging South Cotabato’s ban on open pit mining – had earlier denied an ECC to Sagittarius, the local unit of mining giant Xstrata Plc, which seeks to operate the $5.9-billion Tampakan copper-gold project.

SMI appealed the decision to Malacanang and, earlier this month, the Palace ordered the DENR to “resolve the company’s ECC without any consideration of requirements other than those imposed under the Environmental Impact Study system.”

Read full article @www.interaksyon.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] Alyansa Tigil Mina strongly condemns, argues environment permit issuance to SMI-Xstrata Mines

Alyansa Tigil Mina strongly condemns, argues environment permit issuance to SMI-Xstrata Mines

atm-logoManila—Alyansa Tigil Mina strongly condemns and questions the issuance of a conditional environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to Sagittarius Mines Inc-Xstrata Philippines (SMI-Xstrata) for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project.

ATM has informed the Office of the President and the Mining Industry Coordinating Council of the many questions found in the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted to the Environment Management Bureau for the operations of the Tampakan project. We are not convinced that the submission merits the issuance of the said permit, and that many concerns are yet to be resolved before operations are to be allowed to push through.

South Cotabato Environment Code. Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code puts responsibility to local governments to implement policies necessary for the communities. In 2010, the Provincial Ordinance was signed with a provision banning open pit mining in their province due to identified risks. From this perspective, ATM believes that only a Supreme Court ruling can pronounce it unconstitutional or not “implementable”.

Free Prior Informed Consent. There are five tribal communities whom SMI-Xstrate should secure consent or FPIC from—they only have acquired one. Up to now, SMI-Xstrata has not yet fully complied with these and is yet to secure four other FPICs.

Lack of social acceptability and a string of human rights violations. Other than the FPIC from tribal communities, SMI must inform other communities inside and outside the mine tenement area who may be affected by the project—this includes downstream communities of Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Saranggani, and Sultan Kudarat, whose water sources will be affected, and whose lives will be at risk in case an accident happens throughout the mine life.

As an aftermath also of the opposition against the Tampakan mining project and militarization of the area, people have been murdered, including five B’laan tribe leaders and members. This new development will escalate human rights violations and bloodsheds. We have earlier confirmed that the B’laan people already declared a pangayao or bloodwar against the military deployed in their ancestral domains.

Threat to the stability of the mountains and its watersheds and increases risks to disasters. From the tragedies of Marcopper in Marinduque to the Padcal Mines leakeage in Benguet last year, to the recent Antique Mines landslide, it would be unintelligent to risk the lives and resources that will be affected if the Tampakan facilities break. It is worth noting that one of the mine facilities will be situated on top of several active faults, and that the open pit will cut down at least 200 hectares of old growth forests and watersheds.

In the SMI-Xstrata Environmental and Social Impact Statement, one of their consultants also noted that: “The Tampakan mine has a potential of loss of life and high environmental damage if a failure of dams or rock storage facilities occurs.”

Unfortunately, these rather very important concerns were put aside in the Aquino government’s desire to accommodate the wishes of foreign investors to the country. This move compels us to believe that this government can turn a blind side on environmental and social issues in favor of promised benefits of development projects.

We reiterate that the ECC issuance puts many communities and resources at high risk, and that this is outright a violation of South Cotabato’s Environment Code and the newly issued Executive Order No. 79. This permit is not only questioned by Alyansa Tigil Mina but by the mining-affected communities who have and will not allow mining in their ancestral lands. (30)

About us:

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the AMMB.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, nc@alyansatigilmina.net, 09277617602

Farah Sevilla, Policy Research and Advocacy Officer, policy@alyansatigilmina.net, 0915-3313361

Visit our website: http://www.alyansatigilmina.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alyansa-Tigil-Mina/141872819244724?ref=ts&fref=ts
Twitter: atm_philippines

ATM Statement
February 20, 2013

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Groups Condemn Government for Awarding ECC of SMI/Xtrata -PMCJ

Groups Condemn Government for Awarding ECC of SMI/Xtrata:
TAMPAKAN MINING WILL WORSEN CLIMATE RISK IN MINDANAO

pmcj logoIn a recent development that will worsen the vulnerability of the country, particularly Mindanao, climate justice and environmental groups strongly denounce the P-Noy Administration for recently awarding the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of SMI/Xtrata and pursuing the construction of the mining project in Tampakan, South Cotabato amidst strong protest.

“We strongly condemn this decision of the DENR and Malacanang!” said Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), “Typhoon Pablo proved that Mindanao is not safe from disasters brought by typhoons and flooding. The approval of mining in Tampakan, as well as other areas in Mindanao, will only aggravate these climate risks and impair the adaptive capacity of communities near the area.” said Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

Yesterday, February 19, 2013, the DENR granted Xstrata and its local subsidiary Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) its ECC after pressure from Malacanang. Last February 4, 2013 Malacanang through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, the national government lambasted the decision of the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) of denying SMI/Xtrata its application for an ECC.

SMI/Xtrata was twice denied by the DENR of its ECC “until the issues and concerns on the use of open pit mining method shall have been clarified and resolved by the Company (SMI) with the Provincial Government of South Cotabato.”

“Studies have shown that recent devastations caused by Typhoon Pablo (2012) in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, parts of CARAGA region, and Typhoon Sendong (2011) in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan are directly and indirectly caused and worsened by logging and mining in those areas” Arances stressed, “Malacanang have condemned the people of South Cotabato, Saranggani, Davao del sur, and Sultan Kudarat with this act!”

Anti-mining and environmental campaigners agree to these assertions. “Even with great care, mining will always be a threat to our natural resources and to human beings alike. Tampakan will not only exhaust the minerals for the interest of big foreign mining corporations, but it will also fuel climate disasters and can potentially replicate the Philex disaster in Padcal, Benguet.” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, also a member PMCJ.

Last August 2012, the leading promoter of responsible mining in the country, Philex Mining Corp. faced charges from the government due to the leaking of 20 million metric tons of mining waste into the two major rivers in the Cordillera region when its tailings pond burst due to heavy rains. According to DENR, this is the biggest mining disaster in the Philippines.

Tampakan: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

Based on SMI/Xtrata’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the basis for the granting of its ECC, it will have to cut 800 hectares of virgin forest in the area, will use up and waste billions of litres of freshwater, displace thousands of indigenous peoples from their ancestral domain and erect the largest tailings dam in the country, where 1.1 BILLION tons of toxic tailings/wastes will be stored.

“In an area where rainfall is rising and is expected to rise even further, erecting the biggest tailings dam in the country, is a disaster in the waiting, ala Marinduque and Padcal disasters” adds Garganera.

A recent data of the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) culled from the mid-range scenario study of PAGASA stating that Region XII will expect 14.8 percent increase in rainfall with a 0.9C to 1.3C increase in temperature. Rains last month affected the provinces of Saranggani, South Cotabato and General Santos City where 1,102 families where affected by severe flooding due to intense rains in three days.

“With the impacts of heavy rains that our province had just recently experienced, all the more that we cannot allow the contruction of the Tampakan project.” exclaims Agapito Dimol, Program staff of Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) Socsargen Chapter and a resident of General Santos City

FDC Socsargen Chapter sees that climate impacts, mainly due to storms, will only get worse and will not spare their region.

“The residents of South Cotabato have voiced its rejection of the Tampakan project since the beginning, as embodied in our provincial ordinance banning open-pit mining. The national government should recognize this.” Dimol adds, “we demand that they revoke the ECC.”

“Mining has no place in highly vulnerable areas in the Philippines. The P-Noy Administration must heed the call of its citizens and once and for all reject the Tampakan project. We must prepare ourselves for disasters and not do the opposite. Arances concludes.
About PMCJ:
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a broad movement consisting of 103 national networks/alliances and local organizations representing basic sectors, grassroots communities, the marginalized and most vulnerable, including women, indigenous peoples, fisher folk and coastal communities, farmers and rural communities, forest communities, formal and informal workers, environmental groups, urban poor, and others in the Philippines that aims to lead the joint struggles, campaigns and actions in putting forward the climate justice framework as a fundamental element of solving the climate crisis.

 

Please refer to:

Gerry Arances, PMCJ Coordinator, 09328778578,gerry.arances@gmail.com

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, 09277617602,nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Agapito Dimol, FDC Socsargen Program Staff, 09212861341,gscfdc@yahoo.com

PressRelease
February 20, 2013

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Stop the killings of the B’laans, No to SMI-Xstrata Mines -SANLAKAS

Stop the killings of the B’laans, No to SMI-Xstrata Mines

sanlakas-logo2Barely 3 months after the Tribal communities woke up in the gruesome massacre of Juvy Capion 27 and her two sons Jordan 13 and John 8 last October 18, 2012 a new round of killings occurred.

Last January 29, 2013 two B’laan tribe members Kitari and Diyo Capion were killed by military men allegedly from the Task Force Kitaco. . This is a special task force created under the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade. Whose main assignment is to oversee and secure the areas where SMI-Xstrata’s mining project operates.

“Sanlakas calls on the Commission on Human Rights for an immediate investigation of the killings and mounting human rights violations in the area. Instead of providing justice to the massacred Capion family’s the military sent more troops and conducted more operations in the area. This is overkill, sending trucks loaded with militaries with high powered guns in a peaceful area of the B’laans until SMI-Xstrata came. “Said James Miraflor Sanlakas Party list National Spokesperson.

Helpless men, women and children run for their lives seeking refuge for the fear of getting killed leaving their houses, lands and all means of living. The B’laans is the one of the many Indigenous Peoples living in the area where the SMI-Xstrata mines operate. And they are not alone in opposing the project, in fact just last month the Sanguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato re-iterated their position banning open pit mining in the area. A method of extracting minerals from the earth which SMI plans to utilize. According to Sanlakas Sec.General Ms.Manjete Lopez “This are all reminiscence of the Marcos Martial Law era. Wherein the military instead of providing security and protection to the very people they swear to serve ,gave their allegiance to multinational corporations to continue plundering the nation and making the people sink more in the quagmire of poverty. This must be stop and justice must be served immediately. I personally experience same harassment and I knew how it felt to be in their shoes.”

Sanlakas strongly believed that Justice and Peace in Tampakan can only be re-instituted when SMI-Xstrata is no longer around and the military are pulled out from the area. Then the killing stops.
February 7, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS STATEMENT
Contact Person: James Miraflor, National Spokesperson @ 0927-613-2068
Val De Guzman, Media Liaison @ 0919-965-7509

 

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] SMI-Xstrata deserves no ECC -ATM

SMI-Xstrata deserves no ECC
Non-compliance with environmental, social, or legal standards means NO-GO

atm-logoAlyansa Tigil Mina reiterates its call to President Aquino and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to refrain from issuing an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project.

We restate the critique of from the London Working Group on Mining in the Philippines, environmental experts Clive Wicks and Dr. Robert Goodland, who reviewed both the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the SMI-Xstrata Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Project:

§  The Tampakan mining project is situated in a water catchment on the Mt. Matutum Range which supplies water for the vast agricultural lands of three provinces—this could destroy the economy of the province and affect 150,000 farmers in rural communities that depend on their daily water needs from the aquifers.

§  The mining project will allow for the cutting of forests beyond 1000 meters—that is not allowed by DENR.

§  “The development of the project will result in extensive physical disturbance of the land, which for most part is permanent.” (EIS, p. 2-15)

§  “The Tampakan mine has a high potential for loss of life and high environmental damage if a failure of dams or rock storage facilities occurs.” (ESIA, footnote)

§  “The (mineral) deposits lie within the Cotabato Fault Zone, a West-Northwest Strike slip fault zone. The presence of faults on the proposed mine sites presents a danger to the facilities that will be constructed, such as the tailings pond.” (Catherine Abon, UP-NIGS).  We demand that a verfication from PhiVolcs if active seismic movements have been recorded be factored in the review of the DENR-MGB.

§  Storing 1.1-million tons of toxic tailing and 250,000 tons of high potential for acid drainage and medium-high arsenic content waste rock in the storage facility, which will be sited in the Mel River Catchment is a very risky strategy bearing in mind the numbers of people living and farming along the river. In addition, the storage of 2.7 billion tons of toxic mine rock waste and tailings and a mine void of 800 meters deep is a risk too far. (Mining in Tampakan: Intensifying Conflict Danger in Perpetuity)

Moreover, we strongly believe that no ECC should be issued and no mining should be allowed if there is no acceptance and consent from mining-affected communities. The present violence and escalating tensions in the areas is proof enough that this project is not recognized and consented to by the communities. Additionally, SMI-Xstrata has failed to secure the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous cultural communities whose ancestral domains will be invaded by the mining project. Hence, the project should not proceed.

Lastly, the Environmental Code of South Cotabato’s provision on banning open-pit mining is still in effect and can only be overturned by a Supreme Court decision. Thus, the mining project proposal of SMI-Xstrata legally cannot be allowed. The proposal can only be considered if the law is reversed or if the company will deploy other mining processes.

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, 09277617602
Farah Sevilla, Policy Research and Advocacy Officer, policy@alyansatigilmina.net, 0915-3313361

Visit our website: http://www.alyansatigilmina.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alyansa-Tigil-Mina/141872819244724?ref=ts&fref=ts
Twitter: atm_philippines

Press Statement
February 7, 2013

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] B’laan tribe members killed in alleged military ops -ATM

B’laan tribe members killed in alleged military ops
SMI-Xstrata Mines-affected communities call for court martial, high-level investigation

atm-logoTribal communities affected by the SMI-Xstrata Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Project and their support groups are calling for a high level investigation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Commission on Human Rights on the escalating tension and violence in the area, military presence and unstable peace and order situation in the mining-affected communities in South Cotabato.

Only three months after the massacre of the B’laan family composed of Juvy Capion, 27 and two of her sons Jordan, 13 and John, 8 last October 18, another alleged encounter was reported killing B’laan clan members, Kitari and Diyo Capion.

January 29, 30 encounter

According to reports gathered by the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Marbel (SAC-Marbel), on January 29, Kitari was going to Sitio Bong Mal when he saw military men identified as members of Task Force Kitaco. Fearing for the safety of his family, he ran back to his home in Nakultana and told his wife and children to leave and stay at their relatives’ place. Thereafter, an encounter took place. Kitari was shot twice.

He was brought to the Allah Valley Hospital in Koronadal City where he underwent operations from the sustained gunshot wounds, but after two hours was declared dead. The family together with SAC-Marbel immediately claimed his body.

January 31, Kitari’s remains were to be buried in Nakultana when another shoot-out between armed men took place in Bong Mal. A relative of Capions was wounded in that encounter and brought to Kiblawan for medication.

Juvy, Kitari and Diyo are related to Daguil Capion, a tribal defense warrior opposing the entry of mining companies in their ancestral domains. After the killing of his wife Juvy and their children, Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante announced a reward for his captivity—dead or alive. (Reported by Inquirer Mindanao, 20 October 2012)

Peace situation and militarization in Tampakan

Communities and their support groups fear that the increasing presence of militias as investment defense forces is due to the entry of SMI-Xstrata in pursuit of the Tampakan mining project.

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.

A pre-requisite before actual operations is the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous communities who will be affected by the development project. In this case, B’laans and other tribes have not issued their approval/FPIC for the project that will take their ancestral lands from them. It is believed that the presence of the military has increased tensions in the area since the indigenous communities are preventing the mining company from conducting any activity, due to this lack of FPIC.

People, Church and IP Rep call for immediate action

A postponed high-level investigation by the Commission on Human Rights and the Philippine Army is still awaited by the communities and support groups there.

Fr. Joy Peliño, SAC-Marbel Coordinator said: “We condemn this tragic incident even the killings on both sides of indigenous peoples and militaries. This is too much already for the communities that is why we are calling on the President to command the government agencies to investigate and resolve this situation.

We need the intervention of the Commission on Human Rights, together with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police in the Region, to investigate the situation in the mountains. We are aware that there is increasing deployment of military forces and the area, but we believe that there is no concrete reason for them being there other than looking after the mine area thereby threatening the rights of indigenous communities there.”

During a dialogue in the presence of Bp. Gutierrez, Gen. Bernardo, Col. Flores and Lt. Col. Imperial, and the representative from the Bong Mal communities last February 3 the military assured the communities that they can go back to their place safely. Military officials also promised that more restrictions would be ordered against Col. Bravo and that a court martial will proceed in two weeks time.

Another agreement was that space would be granted to the Fulong in Bong Mal to discuss and decide what is best for their communities given the current realities, and to know more who Daguil Capion is and so as not to be labeled simply as a bandit but someone who defends their ancestral land.

“I believe this threat alerts the communities and pushes them to fight against the military for fear of their life and to defend their ancestral land,” Peliño added.

Meanwhile, Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, chairman of the committee on national cultural communities has scheduled a Congressional Hearing to be held in General Santos to hear from the community leaders themselves their problems concerning human rights and extra judicial killings.

Baguilat said: “I condemn the killing of my IP brothers and sisters and the continued threat of violations against them. In our planned Congressional Inquiry this coming Feb 21, my colleagues in Congress and I will study the different cases and put forward concrete actions to the government offices.”

Peliño concluded: “We look forward to the Congressional Inquiry this February but we also want immediate actions. We strongly call on PNoy to carefully examine whose interest is promoted and protected here but with a clear bias to the least—especially of the IP communities, not just the foreign investment and to command the pull out of military deployment in the area or at the minimum order the cessation of all military activities and violence in areas affected by the Tampakan mining project. Thus allowing the spaces for the Fulong and Bong Fulong. We rather their fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution for self-determination and right to defend their ancestral land.”

Task Force Kitaco is a special task force created under the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade assigned to oversee the secure areas where SMI-Xstrata’s mining project operates.


For more information:
Fr. Joy Peliño, SAC-Marbel Coordinator, sacmarbel@yahoo.com
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

Press Statement
February 5, 2013

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Mining giant Xstrata-SMI suffers another blow -asiancorrespondent.com

Philippines: Mining giant Xstrata-SMI suffers another blow
By Edwin Espejo, asiancorrespondent.com
January 24, 2013

asiancorrespondentThe Xstrata-controlled Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) suffered yet another setback when the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP, or Provincial Board) of South Cotabato on Monday, January 21, reiterated a previous resolution reaffirming the validity of a provision of the Provincial Environment Code that bans open pit mining in the province.

The resolution dashed any hopes SMI had to have the landmark local legislation reviewed by the local legislative body before the May elections this year.

SMI was hoping the provincial government would lift the ban on open pit mining to pave the way for its planned commercial production. The mining firm had announced in the past that it will start commercial operations in 2016

Read full article @asiancorrespondent.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[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

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[From the web] GLOBAL MINING TRENDS Towards famine, genocide, and insurgency growth -eastwind journals

GLOBAL MINING TRENDS
Towards famine, genocide, and insurgency growth

There are two global and three national trends in mining, which are very disturbing because they make the rich richer and the poor poorer, leading to famine, genocide, and insurgency growth in Third World countries. On the global side, first, multinationals are getting larger and larger and more powerful through mergers of giants and the sales of stocks to the general public, whose money may constitute as much as 60 to 70 percent of total equity. In Midsalip in Mindanao, a Canadian TVI mining project was thumbed down by stockholders in their meeting in London after a Subanen chieftain reported TVI’s environment and human rights crimes. Stockholders are normally not aware of the evils their companies do in other countries.

Second, powerful multinationals are now able to easily usurp and manipulate Third World governments, such as Peru, Mexico, and right here, even Australia (not Third World). They can change laws and policies to their favor to the detriment of locals, who are helpless to protest and stop this global trend.

On national mining trends, first, the Philippines has been identified by giant multinationals as a prime mining target, which may lead to wide-scale displacement of locals in the millions, and the dramatic decline of our agricultural economy. Second, for some strange reasons, all Philippine presidents since the post-American period have all sided with powerful foreign multinationals. Noynoy is but one. Sadly, we have never had a president who is truly pro-Filipino. All of them are and were pro-themselves and pro-foreigner.

The third trend is the most disturbing. If you look at an MGB map of large scale mines in the entire Cordillera, and overlay it with a DND map of military presence in the same area, you can see a correlation. The military is indeed a mercenary for large scale mining. Juxtapose this against the ever-increasing integration of people’s protests in the Cordillera, and you will see that we are headed for one big war, people, NGOs, Church, and rebels on one side, multinationals, soldiers and government on the other.

Just as multinational power has grown, people’s power has also grown. In the Cordillera is the evolving formation of BAMPIS, acronym for Benguet – Abra – Moutain Province – Ilocos Sur, the largest-yet coalition of locals in the entire region opposing large scale mining. This escalation on both sides means the mining industry and the Malacanang-Multinational Partnership will eventually induce famine, insurgency growth and one big genocide of our IPs and agrarian communities. This is especially true in the Cordillera, Palawan, and Mindanao, which are rich in mineral resources. Just as Iraq and Iran are targets of American multinationals for oil, we are targets of mining multinationals for our gold, copper, and nickel – our wealth that will ironically make us poor, and even kill us, unless we are able to successfully convince the Malacanang-Multinational Partnerhsip to consider Filipinos rather than foreigners in their mining policies.

Xstrata-SMI’s Tampakan caper is the most dramatic realization of this trend if Noynoy approves its ECC. It has the capability to induce famine, insurgency and genocide in four provinces with their complex common watershed flowing into six rivers, which will all be affected on a vast scale by Xstrata-SMI’s mega-tailings dam and acid-forming open pit vacuum. See link below for a photos. Also in the same link is a map obtained from the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) showing the relationship between mining, both in the mountains and offshore (magnetite) and militarization. Just click on the link –
http://www.sisterraquel.com/2012/08/eastwind-journals-42

This article has been emailed to Malacanang, NCIP, CHR, DENR, MGB, CBCP, NASSA, Chamber of Mines, British Parliament and Embassy, Xstrata-SMI, other concerned mining firms, various national and international NGOs, local and national print media, and 7,000 plus Internet mine watchers. Please pass.

Bernie Lopez
eastwind journals
Opinyon Magazine, August 13, 2012
redgate77@gmail.com <mailto:redgate77@gmail.com>

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] SMI relocation plan still in the works -MindaNews

MindaNews » SMI relocation plan still in the works.
By Bong S. Sarmiento
March 20, 2012

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/19 March) – Foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines, Inc. has yet to firm up its relocation plan to those that will be dislodged by its Tampakan copper-gold project, a project partner admitted on Monday.

“The current work program at Tampakan continues to focus… on reaching agreement with the community and [national and local] governments on a range of social impacts, including the need to undertake a substantial resettlement program,” the 2011 annual directors’ report of Indophil Resources NL showed.

Indophil owns a 37.5% stake at Sagittarius Mines, which is controlled by Xstrata Copper, the world’s fourth largest copper producer.

The Tampakan project has suffered a setback after the Philippine government rejected last January Sagittarius Mines’ application for an environmental compliance certificate (ECC), without prejudice to reapplication.

It cited as reason the unresolved open-pit mining ban imposed by South Cotabato, where the Tampakan project is located.

Sagittarius Mines had filed a motion for reconsideration of the national government’s decision last January 27.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[In the news] Opposition stunts growth of PH mining industry, PCCI admits -MindaNews

MindaNews » Opposition stunts growth of PH mining industry, PCCI admits.

By Bong S. Sarmiento
February 28, 2012

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/27 February) – The huge potential of the country’s mining industry has not moved forward due to the strong opposition by environmentalist, church groups and local politicians, a major business group admitted.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) cited as an example the Tampakan copper-gold project of Sagittarius Mines Inc., which is controlled by Xstrata Copper, the world’s fourth largest copper producer.

The Tampakan project experiences delays because of continued opposition by civil society and the provincial government, and the succeeding denial of an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), it said in a statement on Saturday.

PCCI, the country’s largest business organization, said it was concerned over the impasse between mining and environmental concerns.

Owing to this, the group is calling on all stakeholders to gather “in an objective and intelligent discussion to come up with a rational and acceptable solution that will advance sustainable development, responsible mining and inclusive economic growth.”

The Philippines is ranked top five in the world for overall mineral reserves, which cover an estimated nine million hectares. Mineral reserves in the country are estimated at US$ 1.4 trillion.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[From the web] SOUTHERN COMFORT: SMI and the merger between Glencore and Xstrata -MindaNews.com

SOUTHERN COMFORT: SMI and the merger between Glencore and Xstrata
By Edwin G. Espejo
February 7, 2012

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 February) — Although its has been the buzz in the international mining community for some time, the proposed ‘merger of equals’ between Glencore International and Xstrata Plc is reaching feverish pitch this week as it appears the union is heading towards fruition except for some issues on premiums.

Under the merger proposal, Glencore and Xstrata could end up among the world’s top mining companies in the world as the deal is reportedly worth well over US$80 billion. The merger will reportedly be announced next week, according to the latest development.

The deal will be the largest of such magnitude since Rio Tinto of Brazil took over Alcan in 2007. The merged company is poised to become the third largest mining corporation in the world, next only to BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Glencore is one of the world’s largest integrated producers and commodities trading firms but is also into mining while Xstrata is the world’s fourth largest producer of copper.

It owns 34 percent of Xstrata Plc.

Both companies are no strangers in the Philippine mining industry.

A merger between the two giant companies will have immediate and strategic impact on the mining sector in the country as SMI will be in the better position to wrest control over copper production and trading in the country. It could also result into Xstrata Plc finally taking full and 100 per cent control of SMI as Glencore could end up buying SMI minority shareholder Indophil Resources NL which owns the rest of the 37.5 per cent of the Tampakan mining company.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

« Older Entries