By JG Soriano
Over the weekend, a leadership training for the Marinduque Council for Environmental Concern-Youth (MACEC-Youth) was held in Gasan, Marinduque from October 23 to 25. The activity aimed to teach the youth about leadership, theatre, and social media to further MACEC’s campaign by instilling leadership values to the youth and honing their talents and skills in advocacy.
AFTER POTONG PICTURE-TAKING. The facilitators sitting in front wearing black shirts and red crowns with the MACEC-Youth
Five facilitators from children’s International Manila Alumni Association (CIMAA), an organization that promotes leadership and volunteerism, were invited to facilitate a leadership training program for the MACEC-Youth, joined by a staff from the Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI). The two-day program resembled an academy wherein the youth were the students and the facilitators were the teachers who will grade the kids according to their performance and participation.
Elizabeth Manggol, the executive director of MACEC told the youth on her closing remark “madami na kaming na-invest sa inyo, at nakikita na namin ang balik kita.” The investment that Mrs. Manggol was pertaining to was the trainings and other values-forming activities that they have prepared and made available for the youth of Marinduque. She shared that she was worried that the youth was not yet mature to represent themselves, more so, the environment. But she was relieved when she realized that the youth were actually learning from the trainings when she saw the outputs made by the children at the end of the program.
By Gaia Mandala
Environmentalists under the banner of Tampakan Forum held a protest outside the building of National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) central office, October 23, denouncing the agency's continued inaction on the killings and other human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples across the country.
CRIMSON RAGE.Protesters show their 'bloodied' hands symbolizing deaths among their tribes from the violence and militarization brought by mining activities in their communities, and how the office of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples's alleged silence on the killings render them as guilty as the perpetrators of neglect and inaction.
Ed Garingan, anti-mining campaigner of Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI) added that the NCIP should be alarmed on the continuing militarization of various ancestral domain areas in the countryside.
During the protest, environmental groups Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), PMPI, and Lilak - Purple Women's Action for Indigenous Women's Rights, and representatives of different IP tribes including B'laans, Teduray, Dulangan Manobo, Higaonon, and Lambangian lighted candles in honor of the slain IPs. The group also poured stage blood in front of the NCIP building, a symbolic representation of blood shed by the victims of human rights violations in provinces affected by mining.
COMMIT TO THE ENVIRONMENT!
COMMIT TO HUMAN RIGHTS!
October 12 to 16, 2015
To our aspiring government leaders,
Today, as you file your candidacy, we ask you to think about our environment – our rivers, seas, our forests, our mountains, our home; we ask you to think about our rights – our food, our water, our security, our future. Like the great appeal of Pope Francis in his Encyclical, Laudatu Si, let us protect our common home and upholds the integrity of creation.
As the Senate probes the killing of Manobo leaders in Lianga, members of the clergy of the Diocese of Tandag mobilized support for the Lumads on October 1, a month after the incident.
Led by Bishop Nereo Odchimar, the local church leaders claim that the series of harassment and recent murders are related to the extensive mining operations in the Caraga region.
“We can observe that only the Lumads who firmly stand against mining activities were the ones being intimidated by the Magahat-Bagani group suspected as being trained and funded by the military," Director of the Diocesan Social Action Center of Tandag Fr. Bong Galela.
Galela’s assertion is consistent with the Pastoral Letter issued by the Diocese during their Presbyterium meeting last September 8. The statement condemned not just the killings but also the harassment and terrorism towards the Manobos.
"Thus we call for the disarming and arrest of the members of the Magahat-Bagani group. We also demand the government to ensure that there will be no cover-up in the investigation of these gruesome murders," the priest added.
The diocese’s statement also suggested that the Department of Justice and the Commission on Human Rights lead the investigation.
“This is necessary as the AFP must also be subjected to the investigation, and no other than a powerful executive department and a constitutional body must lead this important task,” Father Galela said.
Meanwhile, the faith-based civil society network Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) said that the investigation should also look into the possible culpability of the mining companies operating in Surigao del Sur as more people has reported to observe the apparent connection of the killings to mining activities.
"While the possible liability of the AFP must be clearly established in the investigation, we think that they should also check if the mining companies have something to do with the killings," Fr. Stephen Brongcano, Director of the Social Action Center of Butuan, said.
Buenavista: will it be again?
For the people in Manila who work in Makati and commute via the MRT from the North, you get greeted “Buendia,” just before you reach Ayala Station.
Buendia is a name, yes, but it also means good morning in Spanish (Buenas Diaz). Buenavista, therefore, means something along the lines of good, if not scenic, view. There are places called that because they really boast breath-taking scenery.
The Municipality of Guiuan in Samar is a host to live paintings only nature can offer us humans to experience. In fact one of its islands, Manicani, is a home to a community called “Buenavista.”
Barangay Buenavista is a coastal barangay that stretches upland. Have the patience to climb and you will be treated to the panorama above: I am without words to describe its beauty.
But that’s another story—and that’s another photo. Uncropping it, you will see the whole picture below.
1) The whole picture
The above photo shows part of site where Hinatuan Mining Corporation has mined for years. DENR has suspended their mining operations more than ten years ago. You would expect grasses to start growing after such long time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case now.