To strengthen the coordination between the focal organizations, the pilot sites of struggles (SOS), and the network stakeholders, the anti-mining campaign (AMC) unit of Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) held its second SOS Conference for 2013 last September 18 to 20.
Civil society network Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) bewailed the reports in the media that there is broad indigenous people support for the Tampakan mining project and labeled it as “pure propaganda by Sagittarius Mines, Inc.”
Primo Morillo, PMPI advocacy officer, said, “The truth is, the IP community is divided, but a clear majority is against the Tampakan mining project. And most of those favoring them are the ones benefitting from their bribes disguised as Corporate Social Responsibility projects. SMI’s claim of widespread IP support is but a figment of their imagination.”
Morillo also furnished the media of a scanned statement of several Blaan leaders affirming the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) of the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. The said HRIA found that SMI’s project in South Cotabato endangers and threatens the fulfillment of human rights especially of the Blaans.
Suspected members of the Philippine military strafed the house of Bong Fulong Anteng Freay with gunfire at about 5:00 AM of August 23, instantly killing him and his son, Victor Freay, according to reports from the Social Action Center (SAC) of Marbel in South Cotabato.
Bong Fulong means elder or chief in B’laan; Anteng Freay is the head claimant of the Ancestral Domain Territory (ADT) of the Atbol Blaan territory. Majority of the B’laans oppose the Tampakan mining project.
“We are risking our lives to protect our territory from destruction. Do the dead bodies of Juvy, John, Jordan, Kitary and many more [locals] who died protecting our domain not enough to tell the truth? People are dying, government forces are killing us, and all of these happened under the nose of [Sagittarius Mines Inc.] SMI/XSTRATA.”
This is an excerpt from the statement of the local cultural communities in Tampakan, South Cotabato that supported the validity of the factual evidences included in the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) presented by International Network of Environmental Forensics (INEF).