Lumad alliance bows to stop large-scale mining

and jathropa plantations in Mindanao

 

General Santos City

 

October 14-16, 2008

 

 

At the regional conference of indigenous peoples, a dimzu or Lumad ritual to drive away evil spirits was performed by the IP leaders from the different provinces. The ritual symbolizes the unity and pledge of the different Lumad tribes to resist the intrusion of large-scale mining and jathropa plantations in their ancestral lands.

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Photos courtesy of KALUHAMIN

(Kahugpungan sa mga Lumad sa Habagatang Mindanao)

           
           

Kasifun: Regional Conference of Indigenous Peoples held on October 14-16, 2008 in Samaria Cursillo, Malakas St. General Santos City.

KALUHAMIN
Kahugpungan sa mga Lumad sa Habagatang Mindanao
c/o Moro Women Center Inc., UCCP Compound, MCSF,

Lagao General Santos City

Press Release
October 16, 2008
Reference: Pareng Tamba – (09104874610), Lorna Mora – (09285663051), Clemente Bautista 09228449787

Lumad alliance bows to stop large-scale mining and jathropa plantations in Mindanao

Lumads or indigenous people (IP) in SocCSkSarGenDs (Region XII) formed a regional Lumad alliance and forged a pact to oppose government's large-scale mining and biofuel plantation projects in the region. "Lumads in our SocCSkSarGenDs region under the organization Kahugpungan sa mga Lumad sa Halayong Habagatang Mindanao or Federation of Indigenous People in Far South Mindanao (KALUHAMIN) are united against the anti-indigenous people policies of the Arroyo government. We will continue the struggle of our ancestors to protect our indigenous peoples' rights and ancestral lands. It is now the foreign mining and biofuel corporations who are encroaching into our ancestral domain and grabbing our lands," says Pareng Tamba, a B'laan leader and Chairperson of KALUHAMIN.

A total of 63 Lumads or indigenous peoples who came from the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sarangani, Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, and Genaral Santos City participated to Kastifun: Regional Conference on Defense of Indigenous Peoples' Rights from October 14-16, 2008 in Samaria Cursillo, General Santos City. Kastifun is a lumad term for unity.

"We are experiencing so much hardship because of the entry and mine development of Xstrata and Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) into our communities. We are being displaced and when we resist government uses the military to harass, divide and force us to accede to the plans of the Xstrata and SMI," explains Mao Pandoma, Blaan from South Cotabato and Vice-Chairman of KALUHAMIN. "We have no recourse but bind our strengths to defend our human and collective rights particularly to reclaim our ancestral lands from these foreign corporations."

Xstrata and SMI hold a Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) which cover 31,599 hectares of land which straddles in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Sarangani and Davao del Sur provinces. The projects have faced several delays because of the opposition of indigenous people, peasants, environmentalists and Church in the region. This year, the New People's Army (NPA) attacked and burned the facilities of Xstrata in Tampakan, South Cotabato and Kablawan, Davao Del Sur. Xtrata-SMI plan to mine copper and gold in the area.

"The growing resistance from the local communities and worsening financial crisis will negatively affect the Tampakan project of Xstrata. In the last past five months, the world's top 20 mining companies, which includes Xstrata, have lost a combined US$1.1 trillion in market value of their stocks. The average big mining stock has lost 64%. We expect that this will lead to longer delays or possibly the abandonment of the project," explains Mr. Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE).►

 

     

Lorna Mora, woman Lumad and Secretary General of Kaluhamin says "Aside from large-scale mining the Arroyo government in partnership with foreign corporations are planning to establish a biofuel plantation of Jathropa covering 30,000 hectares of agricultural lands in Sarangani Province and General Santos City. This will definitely drive us again from our lands, destroys our livelihoods and affects our culture and tradition as an indigenous people. This is one of the reasons that we must unite with other Lumad tribes facing similar displacement issues from the projects of the government and relate our struggles with them. Only through collective action and unity with other sectors in Mindanao that Lumads can effectively frustrate these developmental projects of the Arroyo government and foreign corporations."

The conference was highlighted by a dimzu or Lumad ritual to drive away evil spirits performed by the IP leaders from the different provinces. The ritual symbolizes the unity and pledge of the different Lumad tribes to resist the intrusion of large-scale mining and jathropa plantations in their ancestral lands.

           
           

 

Press Release
October 11, 2008
Reference: Himpad Mangumalas, KAMP Spokesperson(cp # 0910-5406198)

Indigenous people will greet Mining Conference with protest

On the coming 8th ASEAN Federation of Mining Association (AFMA) Conference, the Indigenous people under the Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) together with other sectors will mount a protest rally to show our resentment and disgust to the plunderer of our ancestral land and nations resources.

The AFMA conference is a gathering of different Mining Association from ASEAN member country. According to its press releases, more than 400 delegates composed of CEOs, heads of exploration companies, investment bankers, industry analysts, government policy makers from AFMA-members and other Asia Pacific countries will attend the said conference. The representatives from Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom and the U.S.A is likewise expected

According to Himpad Mangumalas, a Higaonon spokesperson of KAMP ““We have all the reason to denounce this gathering, their concept of “optimal utilization of mineral resources” could spell out more damage to our ancestral land and our nation patrimony” Mangumalas explain

“Their idea of “enhancing trade and investments in the mineral sector” would mean more mining application thus increasing the threat of lost of land and life, endless displacements, and human rights violations” Mangumalas added
 

 

“It’s not surprising that no less than Office of the President , together will Mineral Development Council and Philippine Chamber of Mines, will host this activity. It is only logical for the number one promoter and peddler of the country’s resources will mingle the foreign investors and mining TNCs.” Mangumalas added

”GMAs implementation of liberalize mining policy and the hosting of said conference is an complete portrayal of outright selling of the country’s natural resources and blatant trampling of national patrimony” Mangumalas explain

“The Government has put a total of 107,933.4879 hectares of ancestral land under mineral agreement”. Mangumalas added,

“The connivance of the GMAs Administration with AFMA could mean more trouble and peril to our indigenous land and nation patrimony”. said Mangumalas

“They are nothing more than a plunderer in expensive suits” said Mangumalas when ask on the opinion on the delegates of the conference. “we considered them as ‘Persona non grata’ and we will show them that they are not welcome here in the Philippines”

The protest rally is expected to be attended by different group of environmentalist, indigenous people and civil society movement.

”We will add our strength and voices to the wide sectors of society calling for the protection our national patrimony and natural resources”. Mangumalas warned. ###

           

Press Statement
October 14, 2008

Reference: Himpad Mangumalas, KAMP Spokesperson,(tel. no.=0901-5406198)

No to Mining Plunder! - Indigenous Peoples

On the event of 8th Mining Conference of ASEAN Federation of Mining Association (AFMA), the indigenous people under the Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas(KAMP) together with various organizations of environmentalist and civil society call for the protection of their ancestral and national patrimony against the plunder of large foreign mining company.

The indigenous people have been long suffering from the debacle that large foreign mining has brought upon our lives and our land. The land that cradle our way of life has been taken away from us by the mining giants. Leaving us land less and virtually squatter from our land.

The promise of development from different mining project has yet to been seen. Improving the lives of the mining affected communities proved to be more rhetoric than real. Large mining company has taken all the gain from our land and its resources, leaving us impoverished and deprived of our land and resource which is the foundation of our culture and way of life.

The economic policy of this regime proves to favor the big foreign companies over the indigenous people right and patrimony of our nation. Since the Arroyo Government implements the Mining Revitalization Policy, the indigenous land has been focal interest of large mining companies. The Government has already put on a total 107,933.4879 under Mineral Agreement. In Mindanao, 40% of ancestral land of indigenous lumad has already been covered by different mining application. Almost 240,000 of our fellow B’laan in Tampakan, South Cotabato is in peril of displacement and destruction of their livelihood because of the Tampakan Copper Project of Xstrata Queensland Limited.

And due to the hell bent attitude of this regime to sell out our resources, it has increased the number of its priority project from 24 to 63 mining project.

Arroyo’s dream of attaining the status mining country in 3 years is a nightmare to us. This would mean more mining application thus increasing the threat to our land and our lives. And as we always experience, development project such as mining as always militarization of our communities. The creation of Investment Defense Force institute human right violation to the communities opposing mining project in their land.

 

     

 

The connivance of Arroyo government with large foreign mining companies is the worst form of institutionalized land grabbing of the indigenous land and exemplify the outright selling of our resources and patrimony.

We would like to warn the foreign investors and mining TNCs that we will stand to protect and preserve our ancestral land and defend our nation’s patrimony. We have done this before, our experience in defending our land in Nueva Viscaya against Oxiana Mining Company, has proved that indigenous people cannot be sidetrack anymore. We have vowed to protect our land till death for destroying our land is tantamount to death anyway. ###

           

 

 
 

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