Apologies for delays in sending this out (& if there is any
duplication). I am sharing the following articles, which are timed with
the Glencore Xstrata AGM. War on Want, PIPLinks and partners in the
Philippines, with support of CHRP, have produced a short video about the
Tampakan project, and linked it to an online action demanding that the
Glencore Xstrata withdraw from the project in line with the wishes of
affected B’laan indigenous communities.

The video is here:
http://www.waronwant.org/overseas-work/conflict-zones/hide/watch/18140-video-glencore-xstratas-deadly-tampakan-mining-project

And the online action is here: www.waronwant.org/stopthemine

UK groups, including CHRP, also wrote to the company, with the text of
the letter below…

——————–

Ivan Glasenberg
CEO
Glencore Xstrata
c/o Glencore UK Ltd.
50 Berkeley Street
London
W1J 8HD

19 May 2014

Dear Mr Glasenberg,

We, the British-based undersigned organisations, work to promote human
rights and support local communities struggling to assert those rights.
We are writing, on the date of your company AGM, to raise our concerns
over the situation at the Tampakan mine in the Southern Philippines, of
which Glencore-Xstrata is the major shareholder and where you have
controlling equity.

You will be aware of the numerous problems the company has in developing
this project, including: the concerted opposition of the most affected
indigenous B’laan people to the project; the ban on open pit mining
imposed by the South Cotabato provincial council (which is itself a
manifestation of widespread local opposition to the project); the
conditions of the Environmental Clearance Certificate; the on-going
violent conflict in the area – which has been either caused by or
seriously exacerbated by the presence of the mining project. Serious
human rights violations against the B’laan people have been committed by
military elements that have received funding from the Tampakan project.
The conflict related to the mine has brought ruin to communities which
have suffered economic hardship, from having to evacuate their homes or
through the loss of family members who have been murdered.

It has been reported in the press that you are planning to sell your
stake in the project. It is stated that this is primarily a global
decision of the newly merged joint company to reduce greenfield copper
projects. However, we are sure that the above-stated problems are key
factors in any specific decision to withdraw from the Tampakan Project.

We note that the reports of your desire to sell is primarily based on
statements of your junior partner Indophil. Therefore we are asking you
directly, do you intend to sell your stake in the project? Such a sale
would be in line with the wishes of the opposing B’laan, who desire your
withdrawal from the project. We echo the demands of the B’laan people
and call upon Glencore-Xstrata to withdraw from the Tampakan project.

We also call upon Glencore-Xstrata to respect the formally stated wishes
of the local community that in the current violent conditions, caused by
the presence of the project, it is impossible for the legally required
free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process to take place. We agree
with the B’laan people that until the area is de-militarised, and peace
and normality restored, it is impossible for a community to freely
assert its wishes without intimidation. Furthermore, the B’laan people
have already made abundantly clear their opposition to mining in their
ancestral territory. They have therefore officially requested the
Philippines National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for a
resolution on non-FPIC coverage.

Finally, we would remind you that if Glencore-Xstrata does sell its
stake in the project to a company which will seek to push ahead with the
Tampakan mine, Glencore-Xstrata has a

moral responsibility to consider the social, environmental and human
rights record of any future mine operator to whom you sell. You should
engage in sufficient due diligence to ensure they have a proven track
record in dealing with such a sensitive social, environmental and human
rights situation.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Signed:

Andy Whitmore on behalf of Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks)

Richard Solly on behalf of London Mining Network

Patrick Kane on behalf of War on Want

Barry Naylor on behalf of Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines

———————

Environmental advocates call for release of imprisoned opponent of
Tampakan mining project, pull-out of ‘investment defense’ troops

Joint press release –
http://www.kalikasan.net/press-release/2014/05/20/environmental-advocates-call-release-imprisoned-opponent-tampakan-mining

20 May 2014

Environmental, indigenous people and rights activists under the
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), the
Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP), and the Task
Force-Justice for Environmental Defenders (TF-JED) picketed the
Department of National Defense (DND) today condemning the continuing
streak of human rights violations in communities affected by the
10,000-hectare Tampakan Gold-Copper Project in Mindanao, in highlighting
the recent illegal detention of anti-mining activist Romeo Rivera Jr.

“The illegal detention of Romeo Rivera, a co-convener of the Tampakan
Panalipdan alliance opposing Glencore-Xstrata-SMI’s Tampakan mining
project, is the latest human rights abuse perpetrated by the various
military and paramilitary forces securing one of the largest open-pit
mines in the world. The Aquino administration should cease from its
streak of militarization in defense of the Tampakan Project as the
destructive and plunderous mine is clearly unwelcome to the various
indigenous and grassroots communities it affects,” said Leon Dulce,
spokesperson of TF-JED and campaign coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

Streak of rights abuses in Tampakan

The 52 year-old Rivera was wrongfully accused by the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) through its spokesperson Capt. Alberto Caber, as the
‘notorious NPA front secretary Felix Armodia who operated in Davao del
Sur, South Cotabato, and Tulunan, North Cotabato.’ For this, he was
falsely charged with slight illegal detention, robbery with violence,
murder and murder with frustrated murder.

“Despite the violent streak of rights violations in Tampakan, which
involved at least 10 cases of extrajudicial killings, Pres. Noynoy
Aquino and his attack dogs in the AFP continue to protect the mine with
paramilitary forces. The Aquino government is even using the mining
executive order E.O. 79 to override a standing local environmental code
in South Cotabato,” noted Dulce.

Global action against Tampakan mining

The picket coincided with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of
Glencore-Xstrata in Switzerland. The action was coordinated with a local
mass mobilization led by the groups Tampakan Panalipdan and
SOCSKSARGENDS Agenda in the SOCSKSARGEN region, and a solidarity action
organized by War on Want and the Campaign for Human Rights in the
Philippines in London where the company is stock exchange-listed.

“People across the world join the indigenous B’laan, farmers, and
citizens in calling for the immediate stoppage of rights violations in
the mining-affected communities and to hold accountable their
perpetrators. We also call for the pull-out of the mining projects and
the military and paramilitary troops that serve as its security to
address the roots of the exploitation and neglect of the people and
environment in Mindanao and the rest of the country,” Dulce declared.

The groups encouraged the world public to add their voice to the
people’s calls by taking action online at www.waronwant.org/stopthemine
where supporters can send petition letters to top officials of
Glencore-Xstrata, telling them to withdraw from the Tampakan mining
project and to pull out of the Philippines.

Reference: Leon Dulce – 0917 562 6824


Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099
Email: kalikasan.pne@gmail.com
Website: http://www.kalikasan.net

——————————————-

Rebels attack 2 mining companies in southern Philippines

By Edwin Espejo –
asiancorrespondent.com/122856/rebels-attack-2-mining-companies-in-southern-philippines/

19 May 2014

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Communist rebels raided the field facilities of
Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) in the town of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur early
Monday morning, burning some 48 container vans which served as makeshift
offices for the besieged mining company.

Almost simultaneously, another group of New People’s Army (NPA)
guerrillas disarmed the security guards of an exploration company
reportedly owned by Consunji’s DMCI Holdings in Barangay Salnaong in
Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, carting away 14 shotguns and assorted
ammunition, according to rebel spokesman Ka Efren.

Ka Efren said the attacks were spearheaded by the rebels’ Front 72 Mt
Alip Command, said to be headed Ka Jing.

Some 80 NPA rebels reportedly joined the simultaneous attacks.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties.

“These attacks are part of our punitive actions against mining
operations throughout the country,” Ka Efren said in a telephone interview.

Col. Norman Flores, commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 1002nd
Brigade, said the rebels were led by one Joan Casamurin alias Ka Alvin
of the Front 72 sentro de grabidad (SDG).

He also confirmed the raid on SODACO, a subsidiary of DMCI, where the
rebels likewise confiscated the sidearms of the security guards.

Col. Flores said the ‘forward office’ of SMI in Kimlawis had already
been abandoned.

The Army officer nevertheless ordered his troops to go after the rebels.

“This could be retaliation for the capture of Felix Armodia, alias Ka
Jing, and to force the mining companies to give in to their extortion
try,” the Army officer said.

On Saturday, May 3, the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines (AFP) announced the capture of Armodia, identified as
the secretary of the NPA’s Front 72.

But human rights group Karapatan said it was Romeo Rivera, not Armodia,
who was “illegally arrested” by military intelligence operatives.

In a March 4 interview, Ka Efren also denied Ka Jing was captured by the
military.

Ka Efren, spokesman for the Far South Mindanao Regional Party Committee
of the CPP, said Armodia was “safe with our comrades in the guerrilla
front.”

Armodia led a daring NPA attack at the police headquarters in Matanao,
Davao del Sur in March in which three policemen were killed.

Nine soldiers were also slain when a rebel blocking force detonated a
land mine hitting an Army truck sent to reinforce the beleaguered policemen.

The SMI facilities in Kiblawan have largely been abandoned with a few
employees left to guard the offices.

Last year SMI was forced to lay off more than 930, or 85 percent, of its
workforce, including consultants and contractors, following the decision
of Glencore-Xstrata to ‘downscale’ its operations in the Philippines.

Glencore-Xstrata, which owns 62.5 percent of SMI, cited market
uncertainties and the inability of the mining company to obtain the
necessary government permits to proceed with its planned commercial
production.

SMI had announced a 2019 production target but the refusal of the
provincial government of South Cotabato to lift the ban on open pit
mining hindered the company from getting the necessary business permit.

Glencore-Xstrata has been reportedly looking for a buyer for its stake
in SMI.

The remaining 32.5 percent share of SMI is owned by Australia-based
Indophil Resources NL.

——————————————–

NPA rebels claim attacks on mining firms in Southern Philippines

Mindanao Examiner –
http://www.mindanaoexaminer.com/news.php?news_id=20140520090131

20 May 2014

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / May 20, 2014) – The communist rebel
group New People’s Army has claimed responsibility Tuesday for the
daring attacks on two mining firms in the southern Philippines.

Dencio Madrigal, a spokesman for the NPA-Valentin Palamine Command, said
the simultaneous attacks on Monday on Glencore-Xtrata SMI mining company
and the South Davao Development Company Inc. (SODACO), a mining firm
owned by the D.M. Consunji Inc. were all part of a tactical offensive to
protect national patrimony and fight the military operations in eastern
Mindanao.

He said rebel forces torched 48 container vans which were used as
offices at the SMI pioneering camp at Sitio Gumatikura in the village of
Kimlawis in Davao del Norte’s Kiblawan town.

He added that an hour later, another group of NPA fighters garbed in
“enemy uniforms” took control without firing a single shot of the SDDCI
mining camp at Sitio Salnaong in Datal Blau village in Sultan Kudarat’s
Columbio town and seized 13 shotguns, four communication radios, one
global navigation tool and a laptop.

“The latest NPA tactical offensive is part of the intensification of
revolutionary armed struggle and counter-offensives to defeat the 10th
Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command’s sustained military
operations in Davao Del Sur, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and other
areas.”

“The punitive action is also a continuing enforcement of the policy of
the People’s Democratic Government to defend national patrimony by
opposing operations of foreign large-scale mining companies like
Glencore Xstrata-SMI (Sagittarius Mines, Inc.),” Madrigal said in a
statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

He said rebel forces will continue to attack large-scale mining firms
that are responsible for open pit mining and other environmentally
destructive operations.

The NPA has previously attacked TVI Resource Development Inc. in
Zamboanga del Norte, whose operations is being opposed by indigenous
tribesmen in the province [sic].

“Failure by the US-Aquino regime to guarantee the safety of the masses
against floods, landslides and other disasters as a result of big mining
operations has made the NPA’s punitive actions more effective in truly
protecting the environment.”

“The regime’s sweet policy towards environmental plunderers like
Glencore and SDDCI and the acceleration of mining extraction in the
country’s remaining natural resources invigorate the NPA and the
revolutionary movement to further intensify the people’s war,” he said.

The NPA has been waging a separatist war for decades for the
establishment of a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)