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IPs call ‘Dagami ket biag mi’ (Our land, our life) ‘Respect indigenous peoples rights!’
On Mining
Friday, 04 March 2011 10:50

Photo_Jonal_Javier_87_smallPhoto_Jonal_Javier_80_small

Bishop Ramon B. Villena, D.D., Dioecese of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya and officers and members of SALAKNIB in a thanks giving mass in St. Dominic de Guzman Cathedral, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. Photos by Jonal Javier


Photo_Jonal_Javier_92_smallBayombong Nueva Vizcaya—Indigenous Peoples of Nueva Vizcaya continue to call for respect for their lands and indigenous rights during the press conference on celebration of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Resolution urging the withdrawal of Oceanagold mining permit in Barangay Didipio, in Kasibu town of this province in February 28, 2011.  

“Dagami ket biag mi!  (our land, our life) Respect the indigenous people’s rights. And our call: NO TO LARGE-SCALE MINING. Mining will not feed us, it will take our land; ravage our forests and leave us with nothing.” said the representative of Kasibu Inter-tribal Response for Ecological Development (KIRED). Lucas Buay of  peoples’ organization KIRED always recall the effects of mining in the ancestral lands of IPs in Benguet and Ifugao.

“Salaknib will gather signatures all over Vizcaya to petition our local government to investigate the human rights situation in other mining sites here. We also urge them to declare a moratorium on large-scale mining while conducting these investigations,” Said Raymundo Bolhayon, the Chairperson of SALAKNIB – Salakniban ti Lubong, Aglawlaw ken Karbengan dagiti Umili ti Nueva Vizcaya [Protect our environment because this is the right of the people of Nueva Vizcaya] from Malabing Valley Kasibu.

The press conference was held after the mass celebration led by Rev. Bishop Ramon B. Villena in St. Dominic de Guzman Cathedral, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

“We are are one with the CHR headed by Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales in the commission’s resolve to recommend to the government under the new administration to consider the probable withdrawal of the FTAA granted to a foreign company in view of the gross violations of human rights it has committed,” said Bp. Villena.

Photo_Jonal_Javier_154_presscon_smallLast January 10, CHR released its resolution on the complaints of the indigenous peoples and communities in Brgy. Didipio, where Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI), a foreign-owned corporation, is operating. According to CHR’s findings, OGPI violated ‘the right to adequate housing and property rights’; ‘the right to freedom of movement, the ‘right not to be subjected to arbitrary interference; ‘the right to security of persons’; and ‘the right of the indigenous community to manifest their culture and identity’.

Tolentino Inlab, chairperson of IP organization Didipio Earth Savers Multi-purpose Association (DESAMA) said: “We call on these corporations and the government, to stop all forms of human rights violations. We say: No to large-scale mining. Scrap the FTAA of Oceanagold!”

 

Photo_Jonal_Javier_183_smallMeanwhile Lower Muta Valley Farmers Federation Fidel Opay sought for support for the development of ginger and citrus trees in their province—not mining. The farmers stand by their position that agriculture and development of the citrus industry there will make them succeed.

Manila-based organizations, Alyansa Tigil Mina, Task Force Detainees – Philippines (TFDP), Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC), and Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) also joined the 1, 000 people who participated in the activities.

PhilRights Executive Director Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan added, “The CHR resolution on Didipio is a validation of our assertion of human rights abuses by mining companies. CHR should also look into the situation of other mining sites in the country.”

Bp. Villena concluded, “We are inspired and fired up to continue the uphill struggle in Didipio and the other areas in the Diocese of Bayombong endangered by mining application. We will not relent nor give up. Our battle cry lives on: NO TO MINING, YES TO LIFE!”

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) 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. (30)

 


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Last Updated on Friday, 04 March 2011 11:42
 

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