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Archived Articles

Envi Group to Robredo: Respect local autonomy
READ MORE (December 14, 2010) >>>

Mamanwa tribe in Agusan del Norte opposes Mindoro Resources Limited's mining plan
READ MORE (January 9, 2011) >>>

Zamboanga Peninsula folks call for the moratorium of processing and approval of all forms of mining permit
At the end of 2008, an estimated 45.25 percent or a total of 703,598 hectares of the Zamboanga Peninsula's total land area of 1,554,865 hectares has been applied by 137 mining companies. As of December 31, 2009, a total of 15 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements covering 47,889.51 hectares and three Exploration Permits covering 13,776.48 hectares or a total of 61,665.99 hectares had been approved for mining exploration and exploitation by the Mines and Geo–sciences Bureau (MGB).

Alarmed by this rapid approval of mining permits, 80 Zamboanga Peninsula Environmental Conference delegates, coming from all walks of life in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte call for the moratorium of processing and approval of all forms of mining permit applications within the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Click here to read the Zamboanga Peninsula Environmental Conference Manifesto (November 26, 2010) >>>

The Lords Still Rule
It has been a year, 365 days, since 58 hapless souls, including 32 of our colleagues, were mercilessly mowed down in a hail of bullets on a hilltop in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman, Ampatuan, Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.

It has been a year, 365 days, in search of a justice that remains as elusive as the remains of journalist Reynaldo "Bebot" Momay has been for his family. READ MORE (November 23, 2010) >>>

Child soldiers: Toying with children's lives
Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay (October 29, 2010) — She does not want her children to play with toy guns. The mere image a gun brings shiver to the spine of Mercy (not her real name), a 21–year–old mother of two children in a predominantly farming village here.

Mercy was only 15 years old when she joined the communist movement as a medic and later on took part in armed clashes with government troops. READ MORE >>>

Important bird habitat in Surigao del Sur threatened by large–scale logging
Cortes, Surigao del Sur (October 28, 2010) — As the baylan, spiritual leader of the Mamanwa–Manobo tribe, chants to the spirits of the forest during one of the sacred rites, someone shouts, "Banog, Banog (Hawk, Hawk)!"

Caught on camera, footage of the raptor was sent to the Philippine Eagle Foundation for confirmation. While there is no proof that the raptor is indeed a Phillipine Eagle, a representative from the foundation said the raptor in itself is an indicator of the rich biodiversity of Barangay Mampi, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur – the area where the raptor was found.

Barangay Mampi is part of Mt. Hilong–Hilong Range, a mountain range that straddles between two provinces, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte. Not only is the Surigao del Sur portion of this mountain range home to a number of flora and fauna, it is also home to the indigenous people federation called Kahugpongan Tribung Mamanwa–Manobo (KATRIMMA). Today, this portion of the mountain range is also claimed by Ventura Timber Corporation as their logging area. READ MORE >>>

Human barricade of Subanen tribe triggers pull–out of mining equipment in Midsalip
Midsalip, Zamboanga del Norte (October 28, 2010) — Around 100 Subanen tribe members laid flat in the middle of the road here to culminate their 17–day human barricade against mining operations in their communities. It paid off and triggered the pull–out of mining equipment last October 20. READ MORE >>>

As family farms are destroyed by mining, Siocon indigenous youths leave their homes
R.T. LIM, Zamboanga Sibugay (September 21, 2010) — Life has changed since "mining destroyed our farm", 16–year–old Myrna said. "Even our rivers no longer give us fish as we used to have it for our viand," she added. "There's nothing we can do there (in Canatuan, Siocon)," Myrna said. READ MORE >>>

Coal miners in Zamboanga Sibugay continue to employ children
Diplahan, Zamboanga Sibugay (August 27, 2010) — One person died while 4 others were injured after a coal mine collapsed last August 7 in Barangay Sta. Cruz, this town. Reports stated that the accident occurred at around 7 am amid continued downpour of rain.

"I simply cannot forget the victims of the mine accident which could have included me if I reported to work earlier," Michael, a 14–year-old coal miner, said. READ MORE >>>

Surigao del Sur town denies mining company permit the second time around
Cantilan, Surigao del Sur (August 2, 2010) — Mayor Genito B. Guardo of Cantilan denied the application for business permit of Marcventures Mining Development Corporation (MMDC) for the second time around, telling the mining company that it has no legal basis to apply for a business permit. READ MORE >>>

Feature Story
Lake Mainit and the people thriving around it
Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte (July 31, 2010) — People who are unfamiliar with Lake Mainit call the rising of the lake water — the drowning of thousands of farmlands around the lake during the months of November to March — as flooding. Farmers around Lake Mainit, meanwhile, call this rising of lake water as guob — the normal rising of the lake water. READ MORE >>>

NUJP cautions vs charging media for hostage incident
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) cautions government on filing charges against, or even attributing criminal liability to, journalists over the bloody August 23 hostage taking incident in Manila. (September 21, 2010) READ MORE >>>

Concerned citizens manifest their protest against large–scale mining in the 16 municipalities comprising the Diocese of Ipil
Click here to read the petition letter ( August 13, 2010)

Communities affected by mining in Zamboanga Peninsula urge President Aquino to stop mining now
Fisherfolks, farmers, women, indigenous peoples from Siocon and Tamarok of Zamboanga del Norte, Bayog and Midsalip of Zamboanga del Sur, and Misamis Occidental have urged President Benigno Aquino III to stop mining now.

In the late 1990s, Zamboanga Peninsula became the mining capital of the Philippines after proliferation of mining tenements issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau escalating community opposition from the towns of Siocon, Bayog, Midsalip, and Sibutad.(August 6, 2010)

Click here to read the statement of the mining affected communities in Zamboanga Peninsula>>>

T'bolis decry government inaction,harassment by Consunji guards
Koronadal City (July 23, 2010) — Tension gripped anew in Sitio Datal Bonlangon, Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato when armed men with high powered rifles believed to be company guards of the Consunji–owned Silvicultural Industries (SII) have been seen frequenting the village of the T'boli tribe. READ MORE >>>

Indigenous people of Lake Mainit, the Mamanwa, assert they haven't given their consent to the Lake Mainit Hydroelectric Power Project
Jabonga, Agusan del Norte—The indigenous people in this town, the Mamanwa, released this public statement denouncing attempts from different sectors to destroy their ancestral domain, including their sacred lake, the Lake Mainit. The Mamanwa people stressed that their elders, rightful leaders and other community members have not given their Free Prior and Informed Consent to the Lake Mainit Hydroelectric Power Project. (June 9, 2010) Click here to read the Mamanwa Statement >>>

Indigenous and green groups jubilant over open pit mining ban in South Cotabato
Koronadal City (June 20, 2010) — Various groups including indigenous communities lauded the Provincial Board of South Cotabato for banning open pit mining in the province.

"Nalipay kami nga ginabawal na ang open pit mining sa prubinsya (We are happy that open-pit mining is now banned in the province )," said Daguil Capion, a B'laan leader of Datal Biao community in Tampakan, South Cotabato. READ MORE >>>

Mamanwa and Manobo tribes rally for the stoppage of Ventura Timber Corp. logging operation
Lanuza, Surigao del Sur (October 1, 2010) — Calling for the stoppage of the logging operation of Ventura Timber Corp. (VTC) in the ancestral domain of Kahugpongan Tribung Mamanwa—Manobo (KATRIMMA), Mamanwa and Manobo tribe members trooped last September 29–30 to the national highway of Sibahay, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur and to the Tandag office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

The protesters carried with them placards containing the following messages: "Tahuron ug irespito ang kaugalingon pagdumala sa tribu. Ventura Timber Corp. IFMA hununga na (Honor and respect the self–determination of the tribe. Stop the Ventura Timber Corp. IFMA)!" READ MORE >>>

Mining company divides community
ANISLAGAN, PLACER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE—The entry of a big–time mining company to this sleepy village has put a strain on the relationship on the residents. What was once a community full of camaraderie and friendship among villagers has now been replaced with suspicion and animosity. (May 27, 2010) READ MORE>>>

Remembering the promise of San Miguel Corp. to the Sumilao farmers
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The Sumilao farmers have declared that if San Miguel Corp. (SMC) fails to honor its commitments under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the farmers will consider such failure a denial of justice and an affront to the sacrifice of Ka Rene Peñas.

In 2007, Ka Rene led the Sumilao farmers in their 1,700–kilometer walk from Bukidnon to Manila to demand the return of their ancestral land. Ka Rene was assassinated on June 5, 2009, on his way home to his farm in Sumilao, Bukidnon.(May 13, 2010 ) READ MORE>>>

Election marred by political killings
Amnesty International reported: "During the election, the number of political killings has surged as a means of eliminating electoral rivals. Other acts of violence, including grenade attacks, have also been used to intimidate political supporters."

As political violence continues to mar the run-up to the 10 May poll, the organisation called on the candidates to commit to abolishing private armies responsible for election–related attacks.
(May 7, 2010 )

Subanen people call for Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) moratorium in Zamboanga Peninsula
PAGADIAN CITY—In a Manifesto, the Subanen people said: "The 2006 Guidelines on Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to which we, as inhabitants of the state, are bound by law to adhere to has become the source of conflict between what is legal and what is customary. We believe that the provisions of the 2006 FPIC Guidelines in relation to obtaining proper consent do not respect Subanen customary laws and processes for these run counter to how we see the inter-relatedness of people, nature and the spirits within the ancestral territories and the role it plays in the decision making process.
(April 27, 2010 )

Click here to read the Subanen Manifesto>>>

Apu Mamalu burial site listed as National Cultural Treasure (April 27, 2010 ) READ MORE>>>

Protests mark earth day commemoration
KORONADAL CITY—Protest activities marked the commemoration of earth day in various parts of the region as groups call for a stop of various extractive projects that threaten people's lives, livelihood and the environment.

In Maasim, Saranggani province, at least 300 protesters picketed in front of the proposed Alcantara owned 200MW coal plant site in Sitio Tampuan to dramatize their vehement opposition to the project.
(April 22, 2010 )

Children in Olutanga village dream of school
OLUTANGA ISLAND, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY—"Baya ko nia school minto (I want to have a school here)," seven–year–old Rashida Soliman said in Tausog dialect. Rashida, a grade one pupil, together with other children in Galas village in Olutanga has to walk daily a total distance of six kilometers to a nearest elementary school in Barangay Kialim. They have to brave the distance over fishpond dikes and man–made trail, which made even more difficult when raining.

According to Galas village chief Hadji Mansul Tiblan, some 30 children are enrolled in Kalines Elementary School in Barangay Calais. "Most of our children, however, have stopped going to school because of the discouraging distance they have to walk everyday," he said. (April 8, 2010 ) READ MORE>>>

Alternative Law Groups express disappointment at Bishops' pastoral statement on the issue of aerial spraying
Bishops of Davao, Digos, Tagum and Mati believe that there are no sufficient data to warrant total ban on aerial spraying.

Members of the Alternative Law Groups, Inc. (ALG) in Mindanao, in a statement said, "We are puzzled with their concern with hard data, when the legal and scientific communities always cite Precautionary Principle in environmental laws to enact drastic measures to prevent harm." (March 29, 2010 ) READ MORE>>>

Geneva Call finds evidence of anti–personnel mine use in Mindanao
Geneva Call Verification Mission was tasked with ascertaining whether there had been incidents of Anti–Personnel (AP) mine use in 2008–9 when there was an upsurge in the conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), and if this was established, whether such use was attributable to the MILF. The Verification Mission investigated two individual incidents and two series of incidents. The Verification Mission found that AP mines had been used in both series of incidents. Also, the Verification Mission found that it was not possible to establish definitively whether the incidents of AP mine use were attributable to the MILF. (March 26, 2010 ) READ MORE>>>

Caraga Region: The center of resource conflict in the Philippines
BUTUAN CITY—Caraga Region is now famous for its new label as the Mining Capital and the Timber Corridor of the Philippines.

The glaring implications to these development projects are the relevant conflicts around the access to, control and use of our natural resources in the uplands, lowlands and coastal marine areas. The region, no doubt, could be called as the center of resource conflict in the Philippines. (March 13, 2010 ) READ MORE>>>

Coal mining in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato opposed by environmental groups
KORONADAL CITY—Local opposition demands the immediate cancellation of Sultan Energy Philippines Corporation's (SEPC) Coal Operating Contract (COC) in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

Yellen Zata, chairperson of Hublag Kontra Mina (HUKOM) based in Barangay Ned, asserts that SEPC was not able to secure an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) within a year after the contract was awarded. HUKOM has been opposing coal mining in Ned for environmental and health reasons. The group asserts that Ned is part of a protected watershed area. (March 10, 2010) READ MORE>>>

Civil society laments lack of impartial investigation into the burning of school building in Tampakan
KORONADAL CITY—Last February 1, the school building of Datal Biao Elementary School in Barangay Danlag, Tampakan, South Cotabato was burned by still unidentified men. The military blames the New People's Army (NPA) of the mine site atrocity. Datal Biao lies within the Mine Development Area of Xtrata–SMI.

"We believe that the incident could be used to give reason for the deployment of more military personnel in the area especially that there have been series of spontaneous protest actions of the B'laans directed against the company since last year," said SOCSKSARGEN CAN (Climate Action Now) spokesperson Sr. Susan O. Bolanio, OND. (February 9, 2010) READ MORE>>>

Alarm bell sounded over the opening of Caraga watershed reserves to mining & quarrying
SURIGAO DEL SUR—Areas declared as watershed reserves like the Taguibo Watershed Forest Reserve in Butuan City, Andanan, Wawa and Pinagalaan Watershed Reserve in Sibagat and Bayugan, part of the PICOP areas in Bislig, the Cantilan Watershed Reserve and the Mabini Watershed in Surigao City, are being opened to mining and quarrying. (February 2, 2010) READ MORE>>>

Women's Health Rights are Human Rights
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Tinitiis ang uhaw. Pinipigil ang pag–ihi. Sinasanay langhapin ang masangsang na amoy. Matibay ang mga paa sa pagtayo ng 8–14 oras sa trabaho. Magbingibingihan sa mga bulyaw ng amo at magbubulagbulagan sa kahihiyan sa mga tao. Pinagkakasya ang karampot na suweldo sa mga pangangailangan, pamasahe at gamot.

Ito ang ilan sa mga karanasan na ipinamahagi ng mga babaeng canning workers, babaeng therapists, babaeng vendors at salesladies sa ginawang occupational safety and health research sa Zamboanga City. (January 30, 2010) READ MORE>>>

Media groups welcome guilty verdict on the alleged killer of Pagadian journalist Edgar Amoro
PAGADIAN CITY—The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Pagadian City–ZamboSur (NUJP) and Zamboanga del Sur Pagadian City Press Club, Inc. (ZPPI), both an active media organizations in Pagadian City jubilantly appreciate the verdict handed down on Mohammad Maulana by the RTC Branch 6 of Cebu City, finding him guilty of killing Edgar Amoro, a material witness of the killing of another radio reporter and commentator Edgar Damalerio, managing editor of Zamboanga Scribe and radio announcer of radio station DXKP of the Radio Philippines Network (RPN) Pagadian on May 13, 2002. (January 29, 2010) Read the NUJP and ZPPI joint statements here>>>

"Floating farms" developed in Sibugay to mitigate flooding
IPIL, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY—Barangay Salinding is a low–lying coastal community near the biggest river of the province, Sibuguey River, making it vulnerable to floods during heavy downpour of rains. It has a population of almost 2,000. Salinding village is one of the villages of Zamboanga Sibugay expected to be underwater if the country�s sea level rises merely by one meter due to climate change.

Alarmed by the recurring problem of flooding, residents of Barangay Salinding, with the assistance of government and non–government agencies, develop floating farms that could withstand flooding. (January 28, 2010) READ MORE>>>

Environmental groups called on PGMA to adopt cautious attitude towards the Copenhagen Accord
The CSO Working Group on Climate Change and Development, a coalition of over 30 organizations working on climate change–related issues, called on President Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo today to take a long and careful look at the Copenhagen Accord and firmly resist being rushed into committing the Philippines to the highly controversial and widely–criticized document, without a thorough study of its implications on our climate survival and its consequences on our economic development. Countries have been given until the end of January to sign the Accord. (January 26, 2010) READ MORE>>>

Anislagan villagers block entry of Philippine largest mining firm
ANISLAGAN, PLACER—Forming a human barricade, almost the entire populace of Anislagan, a small village in Placer town, province of Surigao del Norte prevented last January 11 the entry of the 6–vehicle convoy of the Philippine largest mining firm Philex Mining. (January 16, 2010) READ MORE>>>

25,000 Gingoog residents act to stop logging
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Twenty–five thousand residents of Gingoog City have made their voices loud and clear that they are against all forms of logging.

The petition, signed by close to 25,000 Gingoog City residents, calling for the immediate cancellation of the logging permit issued to Southwoods Timber Corporation (STC) was filed earlier today before the Central Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Quezon City. (January 12, 2010) READ MORE>>>

Cry for justice for the death of anti–logging leader
GINGOOG CITY—Early morning of December 24th, Alberto "Berting" Pinagawa, a Higaonon anti–logging leader, hiked from his house in Sitio Muyo, Barangay Minalwang, Claveria, Misamis Oriental to Barangay Eureka, Gingoog City to catch a habal–habal (motorcycle for hire) ride in time for the family Christmas get–together in Barangay Kalipayan, Gingoog City.

While in Sitio Papataon, Barangay Eureka, assailants blocked Berting's way and fired at him at least 20 shots from high–powered guns. Prior to his death, Berting organized his community to cancel the logging permit of Southwood Timber Corporation. (December 27, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Caraga tribal leaders call for the protection of indigenous peoples' culture & remaining natural resources
SURIGAO CITY—Mid–December of this year, tribal leaders in Caraga Region gathered in this city in an effort to preserve and protect the indigenous peoples' culture, the remaining forest and natural resources. (December 21, 2009)

Click here for the Caraga Tribal Peoples' Forest Forum Statement (PDF File)>>>

Cantilan town residents celebrate 30th day vigil against mining
CANTILAN, SURIGAO DEL SUR—Since November 16, residents of Cantilan town have set up a makeshift tent, which doubles as a checkpoint, at Triangle Junction in this town to prevent Marcventures Mining Development Corporation from transporting mineral ores to the nearby wharf.

Inside the makeshift tent, Sister Lydia Lascano, ICM, coordinator of the Social Action Center of Tandag said that the mining operation in the neighboring town of Carrascal is a concrete evidence of how mining ruined the lives and livelihood of the local people. She said: "Our rich coastal sanctuaries (in Carrascal) are already silted. Our water and irrigations are murky." (December 17, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Women's groups denounce the cruelty perpetrated on the women victims in the Maguindanao massacre
Two women's groups in Mindanao, the Mindanao Commission on Women and the Mothers for Peace, have expressed their outrage over the cruelty perpetrated by men on the women victims in the Nov. 23 Maguindanao massacre.

On the reports that the women victims were raped, the women's groups said: "Rape is an issue of power, domination and control wielded by men over women. In times of conflict, it is used by men to ensure utter humiliation of the enemy. This latest incident by men, who are believed to belong to a private army, makes us shudder at what will happen in the days ahead if these criminals and their principals are not brought to justice." (November 26, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Sibugay undocumented child laborers dream of bright tomorrow
ALICIA, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY—In Barangay Bulacan of nearby town of Payao, children of school age are engaged in small–scale coal mining.

Fourteen–year–old Raul is not stranger to hard and dangerous work conditions. He was only 11 years old when his father asked him to help in mining coal. In various stages of coal mining, he can be seen carrying sacks of coal rocks or washing them in the river or digging with the use of pick or shovel. In 2006, the provincial labor office rescued some 48 child laborers in Barangays Bulacan and Katipunan – touted as coal–rich area of Payao town.

Imelda Gatinao, provincial director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), admitted that there is no available data on child labor in the province. (November 22, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Marginalized LGBT sector seeks voice in Philippine Congress
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals have long been marginalized in Philippine society.

The 2005 study led by Eric Julian Manalastas, faculty member of the Department of Psychology, UP Diliman, finds that one out of four Filipinos do not want LGBT individuals as neighbors; while four out of ten Filipinos consider being lesbian⁄gay as "can never be justified." The recent 2009 study of Manalastas finds that "same–sex sexual orientation appears to be related to elevated suicide risk among young Filipina women."

To give voice to the marginalized LGBT sector, the group called Ang Ladlad LGBT Party filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) a petition for registration as a sectoral party under the party–list system of representation. (November 14, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Tribes in Bukidnon & Cotabato file opposition to proposed biggest Mindanao hydro–dam
The opposition filed before the Department of Energy (DOE) rests on the simple premise that the planned hydro–electric project will submerge the entire ancestral domain of the Menovu–Pulangiyen and Menovu–Dunnguanen. The project will submerge 22 barangays and 7 towns in Bukidnon and Cotabato provinces. (October 16, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Large–scale mining feared to increase HR violations & climate–related disasters
On the occasion of the World Economic Forum on Mining in Southeast Asia, slated Sept.15–17 in Manila, environmental groups expressed fears that the government's promotion of large–scale mining could only increase human rights violations and climate–related disasters. (September 16, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Media groups say no to martial law in Maguindanao
The November 23 Movement, a coalition of media organizations, has condemned the latest proclamation of President Gloria M. Arroyo declaring martial law in the province of Maguindanao.

The media coalition said, "History offers clear, powerful, and painful enough lessons in the deceptive promises of martial law: It has been used for repression, instead of justice." (December 6, 2009) READ MORE>>>

UPDATE: Last Saturday (Dec.12), President Arroyo lifted martial law in Maguindanao.

DENR Suspends Aerial Spraying, Groups Roar "Not Enough"
The National Task Force Against Aerial Spraying ( NTFAAS) claims partial victory as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) orders the temporary suspension of aerial spraying of pesticides in banana plantations. (August 22, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Fact–Finding Mission: Police investigation on the Sumilao leader's slay is insufficient, hasty and dubious
The Fact–Finding Mission conducted by multi–sectoral groups on the killing of Sumilao farmer–leader Rene Peñas released today, the 40th day of his killing, its final report and recommendations. The Fact–Finding Mission submitted the following general observations and conclusions:

From distress to hope
Fatima is one of the many widows of war in Mindanao. Amidst all, Fatima does volunteer work to agencies for the people staying at the evacuation centers.

The break down of talks between the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) made a resounding impact on the ground which led to the displacement of about 300,000 civilians, and undocumented number of human rights violations since August 2008. Fatima's husband was one of those who died in a crossfire.
(March 1, 2009)

We are not invisible. We oppose the bio–ethanol plant
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Beth Pua Villamor, a resident of barangay Bayanga in this city, writing as a "citizen journalist" belies the local newspaper report that residents in barangays Bayanga and Mambuaya in this city are in unison in expressing unequivocal support to the proposed Alson Corporation's bio–ethanol plant.
(June 17, 2009)

Death and Displacement: GMA's Legacy to the Indigenous Peoples
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Indigenous Peoples protested the force, bribery, and deceit used by the government and company personnel in the entry of extractive projects into IP territories.

Aside from displacement of communities caused by these projects, the resistance of IP communities had been dealt with violence and human rights violations. The Indigenous Peoples Rights Monitor has documented the killings of 137 IP community members from the year 2001 until May 1 of 2009—among these victims were 13 women (4 were pregnant) and 19 youths. Sixteen cases of extra–judicial killings of IP leaders were also documented. (July 27, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Gender Equality in Community Radio has many Languages
"When I attended a training in my radio station, they seperated the men and the women. The men were given technical training while the women were not. I insisted that I also wanted to learn the studio operation and editing, but they would not let me."

Mariani from Darsa FM in Aceh, Indonesia is not alone. Many women experience this kind of exclusion or marginalization in the operation of their community radio stations. The situation does not look any better in the management of the stations. (March 1, 2009)

Military operations displace 281 families in Surigao del Sur
TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR—Massive military operations have forced the evacuation of 281 families with 1,659 individuals from 14 communities in the municipalities of Lianga and San Agustin, Surigao del Sur.

Students and staff from the Alternative Learning System for Agricultural and Livelihood Development and Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur have also been forced to evacuate. Classes have been suspended. (July 20, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Sixty families in Lianga, Surigao del Sur flee homes due to military operations
Sixty families from Purok 5, San Isidro, Lianga, Surigao del Sur fleed their homes and sought safety at the Lianga town gym, a new report says.

Macario Angelia, parish information officer of Sto. Niño Parish in Lianga town, reported that the 60 evacuee families left their homes as the military, specifically from the 58 Infantry Battalion, together with the group called Task Force Gantaugan (TFG), violated their commitment not to settle or live with the civilians during military operations. (June 24, 2009) READ MORE>>>

Statement of support to the human barricade staged by Mamanwa community
in Taganito, Claver, Surigao del Norte

Four hundred tribe members of the Mamanwa community have staged a human barricade along the highway of Taganito, Claver, Surigao del Norte.

The Social Action Center of the Diocese of Tandag, in a statement said: "We support them in their peaceful effort to fight for their rights as a people whose lives were very much affected by the operations of these mining firms, one even as early as 1960's. We grieve that these people had to resort to this difficult means of protest which they consider their last resort in making their voices heard." (February 8, 2009)

TVI Mining firm blast Subanon sacred ground, damages properties
SIOCON, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE— Twenty– three farmers from Mount Canatuan complained to the Municipal Council of Siocon that the blasting activities of TVI Resource Development Phils., a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company TVI Pacific, damaged properties and expose them to danger. (January 25, 2009)

Laid off and left out: Close to 1,000 mining workers lament loss of jobs
TUBAY, AGUSAN DEL NORTE—Close to 1,000 workers, 80% of the work force of large–scale mining company San Roque Metals, Inc. (SRMI), were laid off by the company middle of this year.

SRMI informed, via flyers, the residents of Tubay town, province of Agusan del Norte that the reasons the company laid off a number of their workers were due to the low price of nickel in the world market and the high cost of oil.

A resident of Tubay asked, "Where are the promised mining jobs?" (November 12, 2008)

Farmers install 15–foot scarecrow to ward off mining firm
"The women, men, youth, and children assisted in the installation of a 15 feet tall scarecrow as our symbolic edifice against mining," Rizalina Lisbos, a mother of four, narrated.

Scarecrow is a common edifice in the rice fields of Anislagan to frighten crop destroying birds. This time, the farmers installed a huge scarecrow to ward off one of the world's largest mining companies. (December 4, 2008)

EU ambassadors visit evacuation camps in Mindanao
Ambassadors from the European Union (EU) visited last week evacuation camps in Mindanao to see for themselves how the European Commission is helping the women, men, children affected by the armed conflict.

In a statement, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front said that the tour conducted by the EU ambassadors is the "clearest sign yet that they are directly concerned about the plight of civilians in this conflict and the need for immediate political settlement."
(December 21, 2008)

Mission team reports tales of rights abuses in Mindanao
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Mohalidin Mandi's family together with their neighbors fled their homes in Barangay Tee, Datu Piang town of Maguindanao province early morning of Sept. 8, this year. As the two boats that carried the villagers composed mostly of children negotiated a treacherous river of the village that lead to town site, a fighter plane droned above and dropped a bomb near them killing instantly eight—six of whom were children—and wounding four others.

These are among the documented cases by the National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission (NIHM) in Maguindanao and North Cotabato last Oct. 23–25 convened by Kalinaw Mindanao.

On the occasion of the International Human Rights celebrations, the NIHM report called on the Arroyo government to investigate the alleged human rights violations and their perpetrators be made accountable as it called for the conduct of an independent probe to fully take into account the wide range of human rights abuses that have so far taken place since renewed fighting broke out. (December 9, 2008)

Calls for resumption of peace talks, reconciliation during Mindanao Week of Peace
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—As this southern island celebrates what is dubbed as the "Mindanao Week of Peace", different sectors are calling for reconciliation and resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"We need especially to show, in the midst of unrest, that the only way to peace is peace and that weapons of war have no place in creating a lasting peace for all in Mindanao," Interfaith Forum for Peace Harmony and Solidarity, a group which has taken responsibility for organizing the annual Mindanao Week of Peace celebrations in Cagayan de Oro City, said in a statement. (November 27, 2008)

Sumilao farmers join campaign vs aerial spray
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The Sumilao farmers of Bukidnon yesterday joined the farmers from Davao City in a protest march around the city against the inaction of the Court of Appeals over the case that halted the implementation of the ordinance banning the aerial spraying in banana plantations.

The Sumilao farmers made headlines when they walked their way from Bukidnon to Malacañang to fight over ownership of a property in Sumilao.

For the past eight days, 19 farmers from Davao City have camped outside the Court of Appeals building as a sign of their frustrations over the snail–paced resolution of the Court of Appeals on the aerial spray case. (November 17, 2008)

TVI mining sets to blast Subanon sacred ground
SIOCON, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE—Farmers in barangay Tabayo, Siocon town, province of Zamboanga del Norte expressed alarm over the plan of TVI Resource Development Phils., a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company TVI Pacific, to blast another portion of Mount Canatuan. The Subanon people in Siocon consider Mount Canatuan as their sacred place.

Raul Purigay, a farmer in Tabayo, reported to the non–government organization called DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMII) that TVI officials asked them last December 12 to vacate their farmland, their home at Mount Canatuan as the company has scheduled to blast said area through the use of dynamite explosive for open–pit mining.
(December 19, 2008)

Laid off and left out: Close to 1,000 mining workers lament loss of jobs
TUBAY, AGUSAN DEL NORTE—Close to 1,000 workers, 80% of the work force of large–scale mining company San Roque Metals, Inc. (SRMI), were laid off by the company middle of this year.

SRMI informed, via flyers, the residents of Tubay town, province of Agusan del Norte that the reasons the company laid off a number of their workers were due to the low price of nickel in the world market and the high cost of oil.

A resident of Tubay asked, "Where are the promised mining jobs?" (November 12, 2008)

Life in Datu Piang: Personal account of a woman armed–conflict survivor
My hometown (Datu Piang, Maguindanao) is frequently hit by calamities—whether natural or man–made calamities. If not flood, it is armed–conflict.

My worst experience is the present armed–conflict in Datu Piang town, Maguindanao (province) and the nearby towns. Almost every night, the sound of mortar shelling hitting unknown destinations becomes.... (October 25, 2008)

Tour of duty of Mindanao peace monitoring body ends
COTABATO CITY—Today, November 30, is the end of the tour of duty of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), a peace monitoring body in Mindanao.

The tour of duty of the peacekeepers from Malaysia, Brunei, Libya, and Japan was anchored on the condition that the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels would reach a just resolution to the Bangsamoro issue.

Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel, on his closing remarks during the farewell call of the IMT, said that the MILF is keen on the extension of the tour of duty of IMT in Mindanao. However, Mr. Iqbal said there are relevant issues that need to be resolved by the Philippine Government and MILF.
(November 30, 2008)

Women behind the Mindanao armed–conflict scene
COTABATO CITY—Records show that women, children, and elderly make up most of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the evacuation centers.

Women have been undertaking different functions despite the restlessness due to the traumatic situation. They manage evacuation centers, mobilizes IDPs, facilitate in proper enlisting of identified beneficiaries, relief items distribution (i.e. ration of rice, blankets, mosquito nets, and others), and most especially addressing issues and concerns within the evacuation centers. (October 27, 2008)

International Monitoring Team tour of duty ends this month
COTABATO CITY—The International Monitoring Team (IMT), an international peacekeeping team led by Malaysia's contingent, announced that their tour of duty will end on November 30, and the team of 29 members will leave Mindanao on December 1.

The peacekeepers from Malaysia, Brunei, Libya, Japan, and others have overseen the ground implementation of the 2003 agreement of cessation of hostilities between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a revolutionary group in Mindanao.
(November 9, 2008)

Amnesty Int'l reports thousands suffering the impact of shattered Mindanao peace talks
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—"The suspension of the peace talks between the government of the Philippines and insurgents (Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF) in the southern island of Mindanao threatens hundreds of thousands of civilians facing escalating hostilities," Amnesty International said in a new report.

The international rights group reported that since the breakdown of peace negotiations between the MILF and the government of the Philippines, human rights abuses have been carried out including the displacement of 400,000 people—having left their homes, crops and livestock as they fled fighting. (October 29, 2008)

Critics nix deployment of soldiers in mining sites
KORONADAL CITY—The plan of the Department of National Defense to deploy soldiers to foreign–backed mining projects for protection from communist attacks was greeted with resistance on Sunday by anti–mining advocates here.

Eliezer S. Billanes, chairperson of the South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and Davao Del Sur Alliance for Genuine National Development Agenda, warned that militarization of mining areas "would not augur well to the communities."

"[Militarization of mining areas] will result to displacement of indigenous peoples and more human rights violations," he said. (October 19, 2008)

Call to end military offensives, especially aerial bombings
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Women who experience armed–conflict and know too well its bitter consequences called on the Philippine government to stop the military offensives, especially the aerial bombings, restore the ceasefire mechanisms, and give the civilians space to survive. (October 1, 2008)

Suspects in the killing of journalist Marlene Esperat evade arrest
International Federation of Journalists – National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (IFJ–NUJP) Media Safety Office reported that two regional agriculture officials accused of masterminding the brutal murder of journalist Marlene Esperat have apparently evaded arrest.

Esperat, columnist of a weekly paper in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, was gunned down by three men as she was having dinner with her family in March 2005. (October 30, 2008)

Aerial bombings force residents to flee 3 villages in Surigao del Sur
TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR—An undetermined number of residents in barangays Rajah Cabungso–an, Union, and Bogak; all in Lingig town, province of Surigao del Sur have evacuated their homes after elements of the Philippine Air Force conducted aerial bombings in these three barangays last week. (September 29, 2008)

We are still afraid to go home—Evacuees
PIKIT, NORTH COTABATO—"Our four–hectare farm of corn and coconut is waiting but our village is a hot spot. We really want to go home but we are still afraid." (August 22, 2008)

Militarization: a constant threat to the education of the IP in Surigao del Sur

Manobo–Dulagan tribe vows to oppose attempts to ease them out of their ancestral land
SENATOR NINOY AQUINO, SULTAN KUDARAT—Members of the Manobo–Dulagan tribe here vowed to oppose attempts to ease them out of their ancestral land straddling some 295 hectares in at least six sitios or villages in this far–flung town.

Group warns: With the transfer of NCIP under the DENR, lumad rights maybe in danger READ MORE>>>

Civil society groups call UN to bring the Philippine Government and MILF back to the peace negotiation table READ MORE>>>

The plight of Umbai of Saranay: From being displaced due to conflict to being a peace advocate
"Ayaw ko nang mangyari pa ulit ang all–out war (I don't want the all out war to occur again) ...," she confessed with sincerity. Umbai does not like violence that is why she opts for peacebuilding. The creation of women's organization is also her way of helping the women in her community, like her, affected by the rage of conflict, to cope up and realize their importance as partners of men in developing their family and community.

Training of hundreds of civilians as supplemental security forces in Tampakan mining area worries community

Maitum, Sarangani evacuees return home
MAITUM, SARANGANI (June 30, 2008)—The villagers who fled armed rouge groups last week began to return home after local officials assured them that government security forces are looking after their safety.

Last June 27 (Friday), 4,124 individuals sought refuge at the municipal gym and elementary school in Poblacion Maitum after armed groups attacked western villages near the border of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. Armed looters reportedly ransacked houses when residents fled from barangays Maguling, Mindupok and Ticulab.
(Report from Maitum Information Office)

Hijab: A Symbol of Liberation and Not of Oppression
JOLO, SULU—Young Muslim women expressed their anxiety over the fact that academic policies have compelled them to take off their hijab.

Unseen ways of depriving the Manobo of their tribal lands
KIDAPAWAN CITY—One of the unseen ways of depriving the Manobo of their tribal lands, particularly in barangay Manobisa, Magpet, Cotabato, is the cheap rental on their tribal lands. READ MORE>>>

Rising price of rice in Surigao del Sur
SURIGAO DEL SUR—Despite the high rice yield in Surigao del Sur, price of rice continues to soar.


For lack of infrastructure, farmers in Surigao del Sur utilize the road side to dry their rice produce

Photo by Inside Mindanao Images/Ellen Red

Mining guards demolish 50 houses of Mamanwa tribe
"We were not informed that they will demolish our house. They started ripping off my house and rest of the Hinaki community members. We run and hide and cross the river because we're afraid of their guns," Bae Chermelita Montero said.

Zamboanga Peninsula indigenous leaders appeal to UN to protect ancestral domains
Addressing the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) in Geneva, Switzerland, Timuay (traditional Subanon leader) Jose Anoy said: "We are here because we could not get justice in the Philippines. We have come here to explain what happened and seek justice and action."

UN summons Philippine gov't to respond to Subanons' complaint of racial discrimination and other related human rights violations
The United Nation's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN–CERD), in its 72nd Session in Geneva, Switzerland this February 2008, has summoned the Philippine government to formally respond to the Subanons' complaint. The Subanon people of Zamboanga peninsula filed in 2007 a complaint of racial discrimination and other related human rights violations against the Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo (GMA) government before the CERD.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao communities wary on the RP–US military exercises
GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Sittie Rajabia Sundang, Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization secretary general, said they fear the vulnerability of the Moro civilians in areas where Philippines–United States military exercises are held.

PhotoDAVAO CITY—Evelyn Carias, Moro community leader, speaks before the crowd of around 1,000 militants in Davao City who marched around the major streets of the city on February 18 to protest the holding of joint RP–US military exercises in key areas in Mindanao.

Text & Photo by Keith Bacongco/AKP Images

Zamboanga Peninsula Ulama and civil society call for resumption of GRP–MILF peace negotiations READ MORE>>>

One killed in GenSan blast
GENERAL SANTOS CITY—The 69th foundation anniversary and the 9th Kalilangan Festival of this city ended late Wednesday night with an explosion that left a person dead and four others slightly injured.

Why Ahmad and Sarah Matter in 2008
Muslims quietly mark the Islamic New Year today, January 8, but many are apprehensive of a failed peace talks between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) if the impasse on the consensus points on territory is not resolved.

The Norwegian Internal Displacement Monitoring Center reports that armed incidents have displaced between 119,600 and 139,600 people in Mindanao between January and September 2007.

Halaw: A story of a Filipino deportee from Malaysia
ZAMBOANGA CITY—There are about 400 Filipino deportees from Malaysia arriving at Zamboanga Port every week. These Filipino deportees/repatriates are undocumented Filipino nationals who are illegally working in Malaysia and failed to secure the document set by the Philippine and Malaysian governments.

On the plight of OFWs
Open letter to Muslim civic groups in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

When we watched the video months back of a Filipina being raped helplessly by her Arab employee, this brings to mind the hapless plight that thousands of our single, (maybe even married) Filipina women (including Maguindanaoan and Moro Domestic Helpers) face everyday. In a society without access to support groups, women fear being harassed in their quarters, especially in homes where they are ALL ALONE with the male boss. READ MORE>>>

Press Freedom around the world in 2007
  • 86 journalists killed in 2007 - up 244% over five years. Iraq, Somalia and Pakistan the most deadly countries.
  • At least two journalists arrested each day in 2007
  • More than 2,600 websites and blogs shut down in a year

  • Report from Reporters Without Borders

    Click here for related article

    Anti-mining, anti-logging advocate slained in Surigao del Sur
    TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR—Dodong Pame was a fighter in Surigao del Sur against illegal logging, mining and corruption in the last 30 years. He was a front liner of some of the community and church led advocacies. He was known for his anti-large scale mining stand in the province. He was also one of the complainants of the case filed against a logging company in Surigao del Sur in relation to indigenous peoples' rights. He also filed recently ombudsman cases against influential officials in the province for facilitating development projects that are detrimental to indigenous people and settler communities.

    His untimely death is a big loss to the struggle of communities in Surigao del Sur to stop large-scale mining and logging in the province.

    Unidentified armed men burned houses of indigenous community that earlier called for return of their ancestral land
    DON CARLOS, BUKIDNON—On December 2, 2007 at about seven o'clock in the evening, three houses of the Daguiwaas clan located in Barangay San Nicolas, Don Carlos, Bukidnon were burned by unidentified armed men. Earlier, members of the Daguiwaas clan have called for the return of their ancestral land.

    Extra-Judicial Killings of BM 29 Members in Cagayan de Oro City

  • Call to End the Extra-Judicial Killings of BM 29 Members

  • TVI exec apologizes to Subanon tribe for human rights violations committed by company
    SIOCON, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE—Vice president for social commitments of TVI Resource Development Philippines, Inc., Feliece Yeban, has asked forgiveness from the Subanon tribe for the human rights violations committed by TVI. READ MORE>>>

    Evacuation of indigenous people in Surigao due to mining?
    TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR—More than two thousand indigenous people, mostly Manobo, in Surigao del Sur have fled their villages in November 2007 due to increased military operations in their ancestral domain.

    Even as evacuation of the indigenous people and increased military operations continue, there are indicators that the very ancestral domain the indigenous people have left and where the military have increased their operations is planned out for coal mining. READ MORE>>>

    Sea-dwelling tribe claims sea as ancestral domain
    SITANGKAI, TAWI-TAWI—“Traditionally itinerant and boat-dwelling people, the Sama Dilaut life and culture rely much on the bounties of the seas.... Without the sea, there is no Sama Dilaut.” READ MORE>>>

    Lake People, the Maranao, Stand Up to Protect Lake Lanao
    MARAWI CITY, LANAO DEL SUR—“We depend our livelihood, our very existence, even our identity to Lake Lanao. If Lake Lanao disappears, we lose our identity because by the word Maranao, we mean the people of the lake.” READ MORE>>>

    Plea to return ancestral land
    DON CARLOS, BUKIDNON—Members of the Daguiwaas clan are calling that their ancestral land be returned to them. READ MORE>>>

    Finding Home
    CORTES, SURIGAO DEL SUR—"They (Mamanwa) have been robbed economically, and then discriminated. Indeed, there is a strong discrimination towards the Mamanwa. You can see initial resistance from the people (settlers)." READ MORE>>>

  • Song Lyric - Mamanwa Song: We the Youth of the Tribal People

  • Civil society challenges government promotion of mining with filing of new mining bill
    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Representatives from mining affected communities, the academe, civil society groups, the religious sector, and the city hall called for the passage of the Alternative Mining Bill (AMB).

    "The residents of Cagayan de Oro and neighboring towns in Misamis Oriental were literally doused with water and wakened to the destructive effects of mining and other resource extractive activities in the uplands. This shows the scope and extent of the effects brought about by the present Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942). That is why we are one with the call for the new Alternative Mining Bill." said Haney Bazaar, Zone 1 resident and law student at Xavier University. (May 14, 2009)

    Study calls for shift from aerial spraying of pesticides to organic farming
    The Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology and the National Poison and Management and Control Center, after their medical investigation on the health and environment of sitio Camocaan, barangay Aplaya, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur, recommended for the shift from aerial spraying of pesticides to organic farming.

    Commissioned by the Department of Health in 2006, the two research institutions commenced a study on the health and environment of sitio Camocaan, a community situated adjacent to Lapanday, a banana plantation where aerial spraying of pesticides has been a practice for many years now. (March 22, 2009)

    Most displaced Sulu families have yet to return home
    JOLO, SULU—Returning to where their former houses stand is not as fast as they left it early dawn of January 17 after rising tide, raging waves and strong winds hit the community near the port of this town. Only a few have managed to rebuild their houses and start a new life. Most of the affected families stayed with their relatives.

    Octavio Dinampo, a professor of a state–run university and official of a local civil society organization in Sulu, said that "the most important thing here is that the people dont understand that this is a worldwide phenomenon due to global warming."
    (January 25, 2009)

    Liguasan Marsh cries for help
    Tons of bombs have been dropped and bullets fired at the jungle portion of the marshland that severely eroded its environment in years of intermittent fighting between the military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

    But the major threats in the marsh are mainly the results of its increased use for economic needs, which include: illegal hunting of wildlife, unsustainable fishing and farming methods, draining of marsh for agriculture and fish ponds, and the ongoing oil and natural gas exploration, the non–government Foundation for the Philippine Environment said. (January 14, 2009)

    Gov't agency recognizes Siocon traditional leaders
    After years of non–recognition from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Region 9, traditional leaders of the Subanon tribe in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte finally received acknowledgment from the government body in–charge of indigenous peoples' affairs.

    Next month, the recognition will be formalized through a traditional Subanon ritual. As a sign of sincerity, the NCIP has agreed to bring the panggasi, a traditional wine which participants drink during important Subanon gatherings. (November 20, 2008)

    Dev't Agency urges BHP Billiton to conduct new mining consent process
    Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), in its latest report, urged BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company; to conduct a new consent process for the mining project in Mati City, Davao Oriental.

    CAFOD alleged that there were flaws in the community consent process conducted in 2001.

    Considering that the mining project falls between two nationally–designated protected areas: Pujada Bay and Mt. Hamiguitan, the group said, "BHP Billiton has failed to give people sufficient information about the project and all its potential impacts." (November 6, 2008)

    Indigenous People in South Mindanao vow to protect ancestral lands from biofuel plantations
    Lorna Mora, secretary general of Kahugpungan sa mga Lumad sa Halayong Habagatang Mindanao or Federation of Indigenous People in Far South Mindanao (KALUHAMIN) in a statement said,
    "the Arroyo government, in partnership with foreign corporations, is planning to establish jatropha (biofuel) plantations covering 30,000 hectares of agricultural lands in Sarangani Province and General Santos City."

    "This will definitely drive us again from our lands, destroy our livelihoods and affect our culture and tradition as an indigenous people," she added. (November 1, 2008)

    Residents barricade roads anew in Tampakan copper–gold project
    GENERAL SANTOS CITY—For the third time since October last year, residents in Tampakan, South Cotabato barricaded roads vital to the exploration activities of foreign–backed Sagittarius Mines, Inc., officials said.

    Hundreds of Tampakan residents, demanding that they be hired by Sagittarius, set–up road blocks thereby hampering the operations of the company.

    In October last year, company workers demanding for regular positions also blocked roads leading to the base camp and padlocked the firm's principal office in downtown Tampakan. Last September, base camp operations of Sagittarius were also hampered after residents engaged in illegal sluice mining activities demanded that they be hired by the company. (November 17, 2008)

    Catholic group backs anti–aerial spray campaign
    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Close to 300 religious—including 18 bishops, farmers, fisherfolks, and women leaders—from all over the Philippines signified their strong support for the cause of farmers who have camped outside the Court of Appeals (CA) Building.

    For the past six days, 16 farmers from Davao City have camped outside the CA Building to wait for the court's decision that has a big impact on their lives—the banning of aerial spraying in Davao City. (November 15, 2008)

    Farmers press South Cotabato board to act on open pit mining ban
    KORONADAL CITY—About 300 farmers last October 22 marched around the main streets here to deplore the apparent delay in the approval of a provincial environment code that contains a provision banning open pit mining in South Cotabato.

    "Farmers would be greatly affected because with open pit mining, erosion of surface soil is likely to occur. Even Lake Buluan [in Maguindanao and Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat] will not be spared by the siltation," Felix A. Española, the protesters' spokesperson said. (October 26, 2008)

    Farmers protest Court of Appeals' delay in resolving aerial spray ban case
    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—About ten farmers chained themselves for a few minutes at the main door of the Court of Appeals office; while 15 others carried banners expressing their frustrations over the court's delay in resolving the aerial spray ban case.

    Task Force Against Aerial Spray, in a statement said: "The pesticides in the air drift up to three kilometers or more from the treatment site thereby contaminating soil, open bodies of water, the air they breathe, other animals and human environs in the process. We cannot wait much longer. Our lives, children, livelihood and environment are at stake. These should be of more value than the qualities of bananas exported abroad."
    (November 10, 2008)

    Large–scale mining in Bayog approved in spite of Subanen tribe opposition
    Despite the formal opposition of the Subanen community before the NCIP not to issue the Certificate of Precondition (CP) of 168 Ferrum for failure of the mining company to get the approval of the community, the mining permit was issued by DENR after two weeks from the issuance of the CP. (October 16, 2008)

    Revisiting the Masara landslides: Lessons to be learned
    MACO, COMPOSTELA VALLEY—The Mines and Geosciences Bureau in a report after the landslide last year said the area was at risk due to poor ground conditions, as well as "unsystematic human intervention, mainly [extensive] logging and mining". (September 30, 2008)

    From the forest to the sea: The need to protect Mt. Hamiguitan, Pujada Bay and Cape San Agustin
    SAN ISIDRO, DAVAO ORIENTAL—"We believe in the laws of nature which direct that all things in this world are connected. The destruction of the forest also destroys the sea. " (August 15, 2008)

    Coal–fired power plant project in Sarangani faces mounting opposition
    MAASIM, SARANGANI—"You can build up the most modern power plant but coal will still create problems to the environment and I think that constructing such a plant on the edge of Sarangani Bay can only be bad news for the coral reefs which are some of the finest in the country."

    Water in La Fraternidad, Tubay not anymore safe for drinking
    TUBAY, AGUSAN DEL NORTE—Since the start of the mining operation in the mountains of Barangay La Fraternidad, Tubay, Agusan del Norte, the water source which is located at the lower portion of these mountains is not anymore safe for drinking.

    Road blockade lifted but problem remains unsettled in Tampakan project READ MORE>>>

    Destructive fishing threatens livelihood of 40,000 small–scale fisherfolks
    IPIL, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY—About 40,000 small–scale fisherfolks in Zamboanga Sibugay depend their livelihood—from open sea fishing to picking shells near the shoreline.

    According to the small–scale fisherfolks, since the entry of the commercial fishers, using destructive means of fishing, about 70% of their income has been lost.

    Greenpeace demands Del Monte be made accountable for unfolding chemical disaster—discovery of toxic pesticide, Endosulfan, on board ill–fated MV Princess of the Stars
    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Environmental watchdog Greenpeace expressed outrage on the discovery of shipment of the toxic pesticide, Endosulfan, in the hold of the ill–fated MV Princess of Stars, which capsized with 865 passengers and crew on board during Typhoon Fengshen. The highly toxic cargo was destined for the pineapple farms of multinational corporation Del Monte Philippines, Inc. in Bukidnon.

    Tubay: Then and Now

    Residents of Burgos, Cortes show their opposition against planned mining operation in their area
    CORTES, SURIGAO DEL SUR—About 800 residents of Barangay Burgos, Cortes, Surigao del Sur signed a petition asking government officials not to approve the proposed mining operation in their area. Last May 25 in Barangay Burgos, a procession against mining was held.

    Farmers in two villages in Zamboanga City shift to organic farming READ MORE>>>

    Villages in Central Mindanao gradually shifting to organic farming
    Majority of the farmers in Central Mindanao work in less than one to two hectares of land for production. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are widely used. Farmer–trader tie up is very common.

    Climate change in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur
    SURIGAO DEL SUR—"The people cannot anymore predict the weather due to the destruction of the forest. The month of March before was dry season, now it is rainy season.

    "I have personally observed the destruction brought about by mining. I have seen the siltation of the sea especially during rainy days."

    Inaction on open–pit mining ban worries religious sector
    KORONADAL CITY—A senior Roman Catholic bishop here expressed dismay at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato for prolonging the approval of an environment code that bans open–pit mining in the area.

    As early as March 1996, the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan and Office of the Mayor of Datu Paglas town, Maguindanao sent a letter to then President Fidel Ramos to cancel the mining permit of the copper and gold project straddling the towns of Tampakan in South Cotabato, Columbio in Sultan Kudarat and Kiblawan in Davao del Sur.

    Mining operations in Cantilan threaten farmlands, fishing grounds and CARAGA's biggest river

    Call to stop mining in Carrascal due to its negative effects

    Canatuan indigenous leaders call miner's announcement
    to stop gold project a ‘cheap PR stunt’

    IPIL, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY—Calling the announcement of the Canadian–backed mining firm TVI Resource Development Philippines, Inc. that it has ended its $25–million Canatuan gold and silver project in Zamboanga del Norte as “cheap public relations stunt”, an indigenous leader said the mining firm “never stops telling us lies”.

    South Cotabato board feels pressure, to embark on study tour on open pit mining sites
    KORONADAL CITY—Owing to pressures, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in South Cotabato will embark on open pit mining site visits across the country before they will decide on the long–delayed environment code that bans large–scale open pit mining in the area, officials said on Thursday.

    Residents of Don Panaca, Magpet, Cotabato urge authorities to address spread of skin disease READ MORE>>>

    3,693 residents of Midsalip town, Zamboanga del Sur sign a petition calling President Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo to withhold approval of all mining applications in Midsalip
    Click here to read full text of petition>>>

    Community Victory: Mining drillers backed–off because of community human barricade
    PLACER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE—Today (March 6) marks the second month of the human barricade installed by the residents of barangay Anislagan preventing the mining drillers to pass through their barangay access road.

    Renewed call to Tampakan mining operators to abandon copper and gold project
    GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Even as Diocese of Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez called on all sectors to always resort to peaceful means of confrontation, the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has renewed its warning to Sagittarius Mines, Inc.(SMI) to abandon its huge copper and gold project otherwise the firm should brace for violent attacks.

    Tempest brewing in Tampakan, South Cotabato
    TAMPAKAN, SOUTH COTABATO—Diocese of Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez has described the burning of the Sagittarius Mines, Inc. base camp as "an unfortunate incident and a regrettable means of welcoming 2008."

    "While we called on our faithful and all sectors to always resort to peaceful means of confrontation, we also urged the Sagittarius management to rethink their presence in the region," Bishop Gutierrez said.

    Environmental groups, civil society oppose plan to dump 500–tonnes of urea in the Sulu Sea
    "Over–fertilization of the sea would have adverse impacts on our seaweed farms, the main source of livelihood for the people. Think about it: tens of millions of people depend on the Sulu Sea for food — you cannot just experiment with their lives."

    Atlas Mining firm abandons mining plans in Zamboanga del Norte: TVI–Atlas joint venture negotiations discontinued READ MORE>>>

    Call to end aerial spray on banana plantations
    DAVAO CITY—Aerial spray on banana plantations in barangay Sirib, in this city, brought forth skin disease to the residents. READ MORE>>>

    Mining Timeline in Central Mindanao

    Gov ’t eyes 700,000 hectares of land, mostly in Mindanao for jatropha plantation
    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—“When we shall cover as much of Mindanao with jatropha and cassava; aside from banana, you will have erased our watershed.... ” READ MORE>>>

    Mati: Endangered Paradise
    MATI, DAVAO ORIENTAL—This town has the most fascinating seascape and landscape in this part of the country. READ MORE>>>

    Tribes Lament Forest Destruction
    LANUZA, SURIGAO DEL SUR—"Logging activities brought forth crisis to our livelihood because we depend so much on our natural resources." READ MORE>>>

  • Song Lyric - Manobo Song: Ancestral Land

  • Gov't Procedures Viewed by Mindanao Indigenous Communities as Pro-Mining
    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The Free and Prior Informed Consent Guidelines of 2006 released by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples makes it easy for companies, especially mining companies to enter into ancestral domains. READ MORE>>>

    A Failed Promise
    The Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur Case

    DUMINGAG, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR—"Based on our experience, the areas that were destroyed by logging never again regained its former appearance and state. What more with mining where the mountain itself will be destroyed?" READ MORE>>>

    Philippine eagle found in Midsalip
  • Click here for original Visayan version

  • Moving Mountains
    MIDSALIP, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR—The combined land area of the mining applications, both large-scale and small-scale, practically covers most part of Midsalip town. READ MORE>>>

    Desecration of a Sacred Mountain
    SIOCON, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE—"Mount Canatuan cannot be missed. This is the only mountain in the highlands of the town of Siocon where huge portion of the mountain is color brown, a result of the open pit mining of TVI Resource Development (Philippines) Inc., an affiliate of a Canadian mining company TVI Pacific Inc." READ MORE>>>

  • Memoirs of a Subanon Tribal Leader

  • Lupang Hinirang, Lupang Hinarang CARPER Pilgrimage Campaign Back in Mindanaw
    "We left Manila not to abandon the CARPER campaign but instead to provide stronger and more consolidated support from our hometown," said Berhilda San–ahan, one of the Sumilao Farmers. She added that the support from other sectors like the local government units and other groups will be solicited as well.

    It is to be recalled that the campaign started in Sumilao, Bukidnon last 12 February 2009. In their journey to Manila, the farmers passed by parishes, schools and dioceses and held education forums, press briefings and had signature drive for the support of the enactment of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and (genuine) Reforms (CARPER).

    The campaign was likewise triggered by the irresponsible and malicious Congressional act in passing Joint Resolution (JR) 19 that effectively halts the transfer of private agricultural lands to the farmers. The JR 19 was passed despite the efforts of farmers, academe, non–government organizations and the Church to call for the passage of CARPER. (March 13, 2009)

    CARP extension draws diverse views
    SIAY, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) reported to have distributed 7.2 million hectares of land in the Philippines to some 4.5 million farmers over the past 20 years, much of it through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

    The agrarian reform, Task Force Mapalad said, has failed to break centuries–old feudal relations in Philippine rural areas, particularly in the province of Negros Occidental where big sugar haciendas tilled by poor farmers largely remain in the hands of few landowners. (November 27, 2008)

    400 farming families inside a school reservation site fear they might lose their homes
    TAMPILISAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE—Four hundred farming families that live within the reservation area of the Tampilisan Campus of Jose Rizal Memorial State College (JRMSC) expressed fears that they might lose their homes and livelihood when the perimeter survey of the school, to commence this month, will be completed. (October 18, 2008)

    Rice self–sufficiency plan: Will it benefit the farmers?
    IPIL, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY—"The best of our lands are converted to export plantations, mining areas, golf courses and real estates while the seeds, technologies and markets are owned by transnational companies and rice cartels whose interests are in plain and sinful profit." (August 6, 2008)

    Sumilao farmers claim 144 hectares, sign MOA with SMC

    After historic 1,700-km walk, Sumilao farmers return home
    SUMILAO, BUKIDNON—After their historic 1,700–kilometer walk from this town to Manila, the Sumilao farmers are back home. READ MORE>>>

    Women as Invisible Farmers
    VALENCIA CITY, BUKIDNON—"Rural women in Mindanao, like anywhere else in the Philippines, work side by side with men in farms for decades. For decades also, they have helped feed the family and community. But they remain as invisible farmers." READ MORE>>>

  • Memoirs of a Woman Farmer

  • Farmers Lose Agrarian Reform Gains Via Leaseback Agreements
    IMPASUG-ONG, BUKIDNON—Angelina Padla was a happy beneficiary of a 3-hectare land under the government's agrarian reform program in the year 1992. Today, Ms. Padla has no land to till as she entered into a leaseback agreement with Del Monte Philippines, Inc. READ MORE>>>

    Hardships amidst a pineapple plantation
    DON CARLOS, BUKIDNON—“We have no more source of livelihood because our surroundings are now planted with pineapple.” READ MORE>>>

    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Forty-five-year-old Lucring Tutor said lack of money forced her to deliver all her six children at home. For her youngest daughter, she bravely delivered her through the help of a neighbor who happened to just passed by. READ MORE>>>

    The recently concluded barangay election
    SAN PABLO, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR—The recently concluded barangay election was unfair because different kinds of cheating were employed just to win. READ MORE>>>

    Letter to the Editor
    Destroying Mother Nature
    Mining companies are really destroying Mother Nature. The mountains, the rivers, the seas and the weather are not anymore what they used to be.

    1st Inside Mindanao Writing Contest Winning Entry
    Making bricks for a living
    By Terry D.C. Betonio

    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—“Earning even just a centavo may not be that easy for some, especially those who cannot read and write. But for Melecia Galorio, getting one peso is just as simple as molding a clay to make one small brick, which she does six days a week even if she cannot read and write her name.” READ MORE>>>

    Holy month of Ramadan in Sultan Kudarat
    COLUMBIO, SULTAN KUDARAT—Muslims in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, during the month of Ramadan, do not eat nor drink even water or saliva for the whole day. At 6 o´clock in the afternoon, this is the time that people eat and drink. At 6:30 in the evening up to 10 o´clock in the evening, Muslims attend the Mosque service called Tarawe or night service. At 1 o´clock in the morning until 2:30 in the morning, Muslims attend another Mosque service called Tahajur or dawn service. READ MORE>>>

    Open letter of Committee for Asian Women regarding the kidnapping of peace workers Esperancita Jupida and Milet Martinez in Basilan
    "The Committee for Asian Women (CAW) writes to protest the prolonged abduction, nearly a month now, of peace workers Esperancita Jupida and Milet Martinez in Basilan. Several of their colleagues have escaped but Espie and Milet remain in custody. The abductors are reportedly an Abu Sayaff Group (ASG) band that includes teen–agers.

    "Espie, Milet and a small but growing number of peace builders have staked their lives on the simple but risky proposition that peace must come through peaceful means." (October 9, 2008)

    Mindanao Tribal People's Forest Forum Press Statement (PDF)

    Mindanao–Palawan Consultation–Meeting on the Indigenous Peoples' Ancestral Domain and the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity Press Statement

    Large–scale mining in Bayog approved in spite of Subanen tribe opposition
    Despite the formal opposition of the Subanen community before the NCIP not to issue the Certificate of Precondition (CP) of 168 Ferrum for failure of the mining company to get the approval of the community, the mining permit was issued by DENR after two weeks from the issuance of the CP. (October 16, 2008)

    People need food, not mining

    A Call for Cessation of Hostilities, Transparency
    and Broadened Participation in the GRP–MILF Negotiations

    Open letter to all Mindanaoans

    Human barricade prevents entry of mining company workers
    PLACER, SURIGAO DEL NORTE—Last January 6, about 70 residents of barangay Anislagan, together with their barangay council, installed a human barricade thereby preventing the entry of the workers of Anglo American Corporation, the word's second biggest mining company.

    Subanons rally in front of Government Agency for Indigenous Peoples
    PAGADIAN CITY—Several community members held streamers outside the NCIP office calling for the scrapping of the 2006 NCIP Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidelines. READ MORE>>>

    Iron Mountain moving to their village
    CARRASCAL, SURIGAO DEL SUR—Seven hundred residents gathered on September 28, this year in the poblacion in this town to show protest to the mining operation in their villages. READ MORE>>>

    ATM slams TVI for tailings spill in Zambo, warns of another Marcopper in the making
    SIOCON, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE—The Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) slammed TVI Pacific, a Canadian-owned firm operating a gold mining project in Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte over reports that its sulphide tailings dam had been breached. READ MORE>>>

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