Mindanao folks troop to Makati to warn mining companies

‘Get out of Mindanao now’

Kalikasan PNE press release

25 November 2014

Anti-mining activists, environmental advocates and indigenous peoples from Mindanao held protest actions in front of the Makati offices of mining corporations responsible for environmental destruction and rampant human rights violations in the country’s southern region, namely the Filipino-Malaysia-owned Apex Mining, Canada-owned Toronto Venutres Inc (TVI), and Swiss-owned Glencore.

“This is a warning to these companies: get out now. The people of Mindanao are raging and our resistance grows stronger every day. Leave now, or face the people’s resistance,” said Panalipdan Mindanao secretary general Dulphing Ogan.

Most of the 330,000 hectares of land leased to mining companies are agricultural lands and upland areas being tilled by farmers and Lumads, an indigenous peoples group in Mindanao. Eighty (80) percent of the 131 mining agreements and permits in Mindanao are located in Lumad areas.

“Mindanao, a paradise guarded by the indigenous peoples, has been ravaged by the continuing large-scale mining operations. Mining-affected areas like Compostela Valley, the Surigao provinces, and Zamboanga del Norte bear the scars of destructive mining. If this destruction goes unabated, the people are sure to suffer famine, flashfloods and other disasters,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of environmental group Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment.

The incursion of large-scale mining into agricultural lands and watershed areas affects food production and threatens food security in the region. Considered as the Philippines’ “food basket,” Mindanao grows most of the Philippines’ major crops, accounting for over 40 percent of the country’s food requirements.

“Studies show that massive destruction of the environment and plunder of natural resources by large-scale mining increase vulnerability to disaster and poverty incidence among Mindanaons. The areas hardest hit by typhoons Sendong and Pablo were mining-affected areas, which were also home to the poorest of peasant communities, ” said JM Ayuste of scientist activist group AGHAM.

“We have come to the National Capital Region to warn foreign and private mining corporations. The people will continue to resist until our last breath to defend our lands and resources. We will not allow you to destroy and plunder our forests, rivers and mountains. More and more Lumads and peasants will declare more pangayaws against destructive large-scale mining in Mindanao,” Ogan said.

Pangayaw is the tribal war or armed defense of Lumads and is part of the tradional practice to defend territories and communities against foreign invasion. Indigenous peoples like the Talaingod Manobos in Davao del Norte and B’laan in South Cotabato have ongoing pangayaws against ALSONS and Glencore corporations, respectively.

Clemente Bautista 0922.844.9787, Dulphing Ogan 0906.607.4182 JM Ayuste 0906.807.2964

Clemente Bautista, National Coordinator
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: +63 (2) 924 8756 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site: www.kalikasan.net