MAC: Mines and Communities

Gunmen kill Jordan Manda, son of Filipino anti-mining activist

Published by MAC on 2012-09-12
Source: Statements, AFP, Mindanews, Rappler, Inquirer (2012-09-07)

After numerous threats were made on the life of the indigenous Subanon leader, Timuay (Chief) Lucenio Manda, he  was ambushed by gunmen on 4th September.

Although only wounded himself, his 11 year old son - whom he was giving a lift to school - was shot dead.

In a relatively isolated region, over-run by mining interests, Timuay Lucenio has been struggling to assert the rights of the Subanon to decide their own future, as allowed for under Philippine law.

Recently he had been advocating a moratorium on mining in the area, in order to help restore unity among the local Subanon. This was obviously opposed by mining interests, but to date the exact motive behind the attack is unknown.

For previous article on MAC, see: Philippines: Mining murders continue, no justice in sight

Gunmen ambush Filipino anti-mining tribal activist, kill 11-year-old son on way to school

Associated Press

5 Sepember 2012

MANILA, Philippines - Gunmen in the southern Philippines ambushed a tribal chieftain who was campaigning against mining and destruction of forests, killing his 11-year-old son in the latest of several attacks on environmental activists, a human rights group said Wednesday.

Jordan Manda, murdered son of tribal leader
Jordan Manda, murdered son of Timuay Lucenio Manda.
Source: PDSI

Amnesty International said Lucenio Manda was driving his son, Jordan, to school in Zamboanga del Sur province on Tuesday when assailants fired at them. The elder Manda was wounded and said later via text message that his son was sacrificed to protect his people's rights and ancestral domain.

"It is very painful and I thirst for justice. I vow to continue my struggle in order not to make my son's death in vain," Manda said.

Police said they are investigating. Amnesty International noted that Manda's family has been targeted in the past. His cousin was fatally shot a decade ago.

Manda, the chief of the Subanen animist tribe in a region dominated by Christians and minority Muslims, has led efforts against logging and mining, said the head of Amnesty International Philippines, Aurora Parong.

Manda filed a court petition to revoke mining permits at the Pinukis Range Forest, among the last untouched forests in the resource-rich southern region where several multinational companies are extracting gold and silver.

"The killing of Jordan Manda, groomed to be a next Timuay (tribal leader), is a painful reminder that indigenous peoples are not protected," Parong said in a statement. She called on President Benigno Aquino III's government to bring perpetrators to justice and stop what the group says is a culture of impunity that has left 36 tribal activists dead over the last several years.

"The indigenous peoples' future depends on genuine efforts and concrete actions by the government to fulfill their duties in holding mining corporations accountable for any human rights abuses," Parong said.

New York-based Human Rights Watch in July said it has documented three cases since October 2011 in which critics of mining and energy projects have been killed in the Philippines, allegedly by paramilitary forces under military control. The military denied any involvement.

Amnesty International also quoted a police report saying that guards hired by a Canadian mining company were responsible for a fatal shooting in July.

That month, Aquino issued a presidential decree that encourages mining investment through streamlined policies and guidelines.

However, human rights group say it does not address abuses against the local population.


Impunity continues in mining affected areas; Green groups condemn attempted assassination of anti-mining leader

Task Force-Justice for Environment Defenders (TF-JED) Press Release

4 September 2012

The rights group Task Force-Justice for Environment Defenders (TF-JED) strongly condemned the attempted assassination of anti-mining leader Timuay Lucenio Manda Umbang and the killing of his 11-year old son John Manda Umbang. Timuay Manda is the tribal chieftain of Subanens in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur who is opposing the operation and expansion of large-scale mining corporations in the province.

Timuay Manda and his son were ambushed this morning in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur. The province is a known hotbed for mining conflicts. Several large-scale mining corporations have interest and operations in the area such as by Greater Asia, 168 Ferrum, Bayug 9 Metal, TVI Resource Development (TVIRD), and one Cherril Astorga. In a statement, TVIRD said that they have exclusive mining rights to 4,779 hectares in one town of Zamboanga del Sur alone. TVIRD has also a large-scale mining operation in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.

"The attempted assassination of Timuay Manda is the latest of many human rights violations related to the struggle against foreign and large-scale mining in Zamboanga peninsula. This shows that impunity continues and there is a clear and present danger that anti-mining leaders and activists are facing," said Leon Dulce, spokesperson of Kalikasan Partylist and convener of TF-JED.

TF-JED has monitored that already eighteen (18) environmental activists which 13 were anti-mining activists were already killed under the Aquino administration. The group also noted that most of the suspects in killing ant-mining activists are members of the military, paramilitary or security forces of mining companies.

"President Aquino's failure to stop the persecution and killings of environmental activists in the country shows its inutility if not its tolerance of human rights violations perpetuated against indigenous people and ant-mining activists. In Zamboanga peninsula alone a lot of mining-related killings and human rights violations remain unsolved," Dulce added.

Only last July, a TVIRD armed employee was involved in shooting small scale miners in Zamboanga del Sur as reported by local police. In February, Special Citizens Active Auxiliaries (SCAA) of TVIRD harassed 11 Pagadian-based journalists. In March 2011, a security guard of TVIRD killed a farmer who is protesting against their operation.


PHILIPPINES: The son of a tribal leader opposing mining and another transport leader killed in separate incidents

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-165-2012

6 September 2012

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you that two people were killed in separate incidents on September 3 and 4, 2012. One of the victims was the son of a leader of an indigenous tribe opposing mining and the other was a transport leader advocating for the interest of public utility drivers. The AHRC is deeply concerned by these continuous extrajudicial killing of human rights and political activists and the inability of the government to provide them protection.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on reports and cases documented by the Purple Action for IP women's Rights (Lilak), Workers Assistance Center (WAC) and May First Movement (Kilusang Mayo Uno-KMU))

CASE 1: "I will not let my son's death be in vain."

On 4 September, 2012 at 7:20am, Jordan Manda, 11 years-of-age and his father, Lucenio, were on their way to school aboard a motorbike when they were stopped and shot by unknown persons. Jordan sustained a fatal gunshot wound to his back and died on the spot. His father, Lucenio, was wounded but survived the shooting.

Jordan was the eldest of three siblings of Lucenio Manda. He was being groomed as the next Timuay of the community; the Timuay being the leader of the tribe. He had been attending community meetings and educational activities. Even at his young age, Jordan had been keenly interested in their Subanen culture and the history of his own people. He also helped his mother, Delma in tending their animals and rice farm, for their food.

Lucenio is a Timuay and the head claimant of Bayog Ancestral Domain in Zamboanga del Sur. He had been a strong defender of the rights of the Subanen to their land and their right to self-determination. He is also known to have been strongly opposed to the operation of large scale mining and logging in their ancestral domain. Lucenio has been very vocal in questioning as to why mining has been allowed in Bayog without their "free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)" as provided for by the law.

There are currently three approved Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA), one approved Exploration Permit, and eight mining permit applications.

According to Lucenio, the loss of his son is what strengthened his resolve to struggle for the protection of the land rights of the Subanen indigenous tribe and their rights to their ancestral domain. "... I thirst for justice. I vow to continue my struggle in order not to let my son's death be in vain", Lucenio said following his son's death. Lucenio has been receiving death threats prior to the attack.

CASE 2: "Fourth leader in his group to have been killed in six months"

On 3 September, 2012 at 5:15pm, Feliciano "Poncing" Infante, president of the Pampanga-Pandan Jeepney Association and founding member of the Abe Kapampangan representing the transport sector, was shot dead by two gunmen riding on a motorcycle at Jaoville Terminal in Barangay Pandan in Angeles City.

Poncing was a leader of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston), a group of transport sector. Piston is a member of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

Infante was the fourth leader attached to Piston to have been murdered under the current Aquino administration. In the past, Felix Cultura, a leader of Piston in Caraga, was killed in March 2012; Erning Gulfo, a leader of Piston in Gasak and Divisoria was killed in May 2012 and Ka Jing, a leader of Piston in Baclaran and Divisoria was killed in June 2012.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the concerned authorities listed below expressing your concern about these cases of extrajudicial killings.

The AHRC has also written separate letters to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights defenders and on extra-judicial, summary, or arbitrary executions for their immediate intervention.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: The son of a tribal leader opposing mining and another transport leader killed in separate incidents

Case 1:
Name of killed victim: Jordan Manda, 11 years old
Name of wounded victim: Lucenio Manda, a Timuay (leader) of Subanen indigenous tribe. He is the head claimant of Bayog Ancestral Domain in Zamboanga del Sur.
Alleged Perpetrator: unknown
Date of incident: 4 September, 2012 at 7:20am

Case 2:
Name of killed victim: Feliciano "Poncing" Infante, president of the Pampanga-Pandan Jeepney Association and founding member of the Abe Kapampangan; leader of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston);
Alleged Perpetrator: Two gunmen riding on a motorcycle
Date of incident: 3 September, 2012 at 5:15p.m
Place of incident: Jaoville Terminal in Barangay Pandan in Angeles City.

I am writing to raise my grave concern regarding the killing of two people, Jordan Manda, the son of an indigenous tribal leader who had been opposing the intrusion of mining operations in their indigenous community; and Feliciano "Poncing" Infante, the leader of a transport group critical of the socio-political issues in the country.

Firstly, on 4 September 2012 at 7:20am, Jordan Manda and his father, Lucenio, were on their way to school onboard their motorbike when they were fired upon. Jordan died on the spot from a fatal wound to his back. His father, Lucenio, was wounded but survived the shooting.

Jordan was the eldest of three siblings and was being groomed as the next Timuay, leader of the tribe, of the indigenous Subanen community. Jordan's father, Lucenio is a Timuay of the Subanen and head claimant of Bayog Ancestral Domain in Zamboanga del Sur. He is a strong defender of the rights to land of the indigenous Subanen tribe and their right to self determination. He is also known to have strongly opposed incursion of large scale mining and logging operations in their ancestral domain "without their free, prior and informed consent".

There are currently three approved Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in the areas--one approved Exploration Permit, and eight mining permit applications. Lucenio has been very vocal in his criticism and questions as to why the mining operations have been allowed in Bayog. As a result of his opposition, Lucenio had been receiving death threats before they were attacked.

Secondly, on 3 September, 2012 at 5:15pm Feliciano "Poncing" Infante, president of the Pampang-Pandan Jeepney Association and founding member of the Abe Kapampangan representing the transport sector, was also shot dead by two gunmen riding on motorcycle in Jaoville Terminal in Barangay Pandan, Angeles City.

Mr. Infante was a leader of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston), group of transport sectors. Piston is a member of the KMU. Infante was the fourth leader attached to Piston who has been shot dead in recent times. Earlier this year, Felix Cultura, a leader of Piston in Caraga, was killed in March 2012; Erning Gulfo, a leader of Piston in Gasak and Divisoria was killed in May 2012 and Ka Jing, a leader of Piston in Baclaran and Divisoria was killed in June 2012.

Though the attacks on these people are not surprising, the continued inability of the government's institution to give these people protection is shocking. These killings have in fact become a commonplace.

I urge you to ensure that these two incidents are properly investigated and to ensure that those involved are held responsible without delay. Also, ensure that the witnesses and families of the murdered victims are given adequate protection promptly should they decide to prosecute the case. Those who face threats should also be afforded adequate protection and the identities of those involved in making threats must be ascertained.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in these cases.

Yours sincerely,

--
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
E-mail: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Director General Nicanor Bartolome
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2724 8763
Tel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
E-mail: ruth_cossid@yahoo.com

4. Ms. Leila de Lima
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
E-mail: soj@doj.gov.ph

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

AHRC Philippines page: http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/philippines

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Subanen Tribal Chieftain wounded, 11-year old son slain in an Ambush

CSO network assails uncurbed violence against rights defenders and Envi Activists

Philippine Misereor Partnership (PMPI) statement

5 September 2012

The Philippine Misereor Partnership (PMPI) reviles in the strongest sense the ambuscade staged by still unidentified assailants against Timuay Lucenio Manda and his 11-year old son on their way to a nearby school at 7:20 am yesterday in the municipality of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur. Timuay Manda, a prominent Subanen Tribal Leader, IP rights champion and known for his anti-mining stance eluded death with minor injuries but his son Jordan who was riding behind the elder Manda was instantly killed in the attack.

The network extends its deepest condolences and shares in the grief of families and friends of Timuay Manda. In alert information circulated earlier to the network's 284 member groups and organizations spread across the country, the secretariat's letter said, "we profoundly commiserate with the unimaginable pain of Timuay Manda and his family, losing a beloved child from such dastardly act and cold-blooded crime. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this attack and assault to the life of an environmental and IP rights oriented tribal leader that Timuay Manda is. Not even the presence of an innocent child, back riding with his father had stopped or made the killers hesitate from carrying out the cold blooded, premeditated murder in broad daylight."

Moreover, the network appeals for prayers and solidarity for Timuay Lucenio and his family and called on its partners and members "for a continuing commitment to bring the perpetrators and whoever is/are behind this to justice, for the Human Rights Defenders community at all levels to walk with them, and the duty bearers to end these senseless and unceasing atrocities against HR workers and defenders."

Timuay Manda is currently the Tribal Chieftain of the Pigsalabukan Gukom de Bayog, a network of Subanen Tribal Organizations in the Municipality of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur and also the chairperson of Barangay Conacon.

The said ambush was believed to be due to Timuay Manda's unbridled efforts to lobby for a moratorium on all forms of mining in their ancestral domains and relentlessly pursuing for the titling of their tribe's ancestral domain and leading efforts to undertake planning for their ancestral domain's sustainable development and protection.

Even prior to the ambush incident the chieftain admitted to and continuously raised the matter of his receiving death threats as early as 2009.

According to Dan Castillo, Executive Director of the Diocesan Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI), the provincial town of Bayog is saddled with issues of mining conflicts, cases of human rights violations particularly extra judicial killings and violations on Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

PMPI's National Coordinator, Yoly Esguerra, appeals to the government to immediately take action and investigate the merciless killing not just of Timuay Manda's son, but including all the other unsolved killings in this area. She said, "Even as we mourn with PMPI's National Coordinator, Yoly Esguerra, appeals to the government to immediately take action and investigate the merciless killing not just of Timuay Manda's son, but including all the other unsolved killings in this area. She said, "Even as we mourn with the family of Timuay Manda, we are indignant and demands justice for this cruel attempt to slay the spirit of an Indigenous People's leader who only wants the best for his fellow tribesmen. This crime is meant to stifle the spirit of a community resisting mining operations in their lands".

Meanwhile, PMPI's ZAMBASULI Member and Social Action Diocesan Coordinator of the Diocese of Ipil, Gualberto Largo calls for a moratorium on all mining activities in the Zamboanga Peninsula areas. Not only does mining overrides the ancestral lands, and perpetrates human rights violations, it threatens to destroy the watershed areas, particularly Pinukis Mountain Ranges, which supply the irrigation to rice fields of the four provinces comprising the Zamboanga Peninsula.

The complications and consequences brought on by mining such as threat to biodiversity, contaminated water, loss of livelihood, forced evacuations, and human rights violations are what advocates, like Timuay Manda is fighting against. "It is such terrible news that his innocent son, who someday will be a Timuay like him had to be a casualty of this dire situation," mused Roldan Gonzales, Point Person of the PMPI DOPIM (Dipolog-Ozamiz-Pagandian Iligan-Marawi) Cluster.

International Human Rights groups and watchdogs earlier this year had tagged the Philippines along with 3 other countries as having the highest number of reported environmental killings in recent years. It was cited that in all four of these countries, indigenous groups have begun confronting industries that are trying to use their land for logging, mining and other agribusiness practices.

The United Nations special envoys on human rights defenders and on extrajudicial executions issued a joint statement last July calling the attention of the present administration on the increasing attacks and abuses on human rights and environmental defenders that were mostly unresolved.

The Philippine Misereor Partnership is a network of 284 non-government organizations (NGOs), peoples organizations (POs) and Church groups in the Philippines together with Misereor - the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany. Comprised of fifteen (15) regional clusters: Six (6) from Luzon, Four (4) from Visayas and five (5) from Mindanao., member organizations are present and are pro-actively working with the most marginalized communities in the Philippines for the promotion of social justice and development issues

For more Information, Contact:

PMPI National Secretariat
Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. 2nd Floor, No. 8 Cordillera St. Cor. Ramirez St.
Barangay Doña Aurora, 1113 Quezon City , Philippines
Tel. No. (02) 353- 4287 Fax. No. (02) 353- 4396
Pris Saladaga, Anti-Mining Campaign Project Officer (09228501842)
Aira Simon, Research and Information Management Staff (09228501841)


Anti-mining indigenous leader ambushed

by Voltaire Tupaz

Rappler.com

4 September 2012

MANILA, Philippines -- Timuay Locencio Manda, the anti-mining chieftain of the Subanen tribe, was ambushed by unidentified men at 7:20 am, September 4, in Barangay Conacon in the town of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, Amnesty International reported.

His son, 11-year-old Jordan Manda, died in the ambush.

BIG LOSS. Jordan, 11-year-old son of a tribal chieftain in Zamboanga del Sur, is a big loss to the family and community. Photo by Vicky CajandigBIG LOSS. Jordan, 11-year-old son of a tribal chieftain in Zamboanga del Sur, is a big loss to the family and community. Photo by Vicky Cajandig

"Jordan suffered a fatal wound on the back, instantly killing him. Timuay Manda suffered minor wounds and is now safe," said Romel de Vera of Amnesty International.

"In my effort to assert our rights and to protect our people and ancestral domain, my beloved son was sacrificed. It is very painful and I thirst for justice. I vow to continue my struggle in order not to make my son's death in vain. I need your support in this most trying time of my life as a father and a leader," said Timuay Manda in a text message to Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM).

Timuay Manda told groups supportive of his cause that he has been receiving death threats for the past 3 years because of his fierce opposition to extractive industries in the area, ATM said.

Claimant of ancestral domain claim

Timuay Manda has been leading the Subanen tribe's campaign to claim and protect their ancestral domain from mining and logging operations.

He is one of the head claimants of the Subanen Indigenous Community Ancestral Domain in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, according to the Partnership Forum on Indigenous People's Peacebuilding in Mindanao (PFIPPiM).

Timuay Manda's cousin, Timuay Giovanni Umbang, was also assassinated in 2002, indigenous peoples groups said.

The two indigenous leaders have actively opposed extractive industries in their area and blocked efforts of mining and logging companies to secure the tribe's free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) to various mining and logging companies, according to Beverly Longid, chairperson of the indigenous partlylist group Katribu.

"He actively figured together with Catholic Bishops and concerned groups in the filing of a Writ of Kalikasan to protect the Pinukis Forest Range, one of the remaining forest frontiers in the Peninsula that is covered by various mining applications," Longid said.

The ancestral domain of the Subanens in Bayog has 8 mining permit applications, 3 approved Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA), one approved Exploration Permit, and numerous illegal small-scale mining operations.

Congressional inquiry

Ifugao Congressman Teddy Brawner-Baguilat, chairperson of the House Committee on National Cultural Communities, vowed to conduct a congressional investigation on the ambush of the indigenous leader and the killing of his son.

"We will investigate this at the House Committee of National Cultural Communities, and I call on national government agencies such as National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Commission on Human Rights, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to immediately find the truth. I also call on President Aquino to immediately order a moratorium on all mining activities in the whole Zamboange Peninsula to prevent further escalation of violence in the area," Baguilat said.

"This ambush against Timuay Manda is a direct assault against all Subanens and all indigenous peoples. I condemn this violent act. The strong leadership of Timuay Manda must be supported and nurtured," Baguilat added.

Not an isolated case

"This incident against Timuay Manda is not an isolated incident. In the past months, we have seen an escalation of violation on indigenous peoples' human rights. These attacks as indigenous peoples heighten their defense of ancestral lands against corporate incursions of mining, logging and commercial plantations, and accompanying militarization of indigenous communities," Longid said.

"This latest incident underscores the strong links between human rights violations and the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the country," ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera said.

Garganera reminded President Benigno Aquino III that it must look into the killings of indigenous peoples as the country's human rights record is up for UN review this year.

Meanwhile, PFIPPiM called upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines to immediately demobilize 617 private armies in Bayog. There are 129 AFP and Philippine National Police personnel assigned in the area. - Rappler.com


Subanen leaders call on PNoy to rid Zambo Peninsula of paramilitary, private armies

By Violeta M. Gloria

Mindanews

7 September 2012

ILIGAN CITY - Leaders of the Subanen tribe, timuays and baes all, from the Zamboanga Peninsula are calling on President Benigsno Simeon Aquino III to help them rid their communities of paramilitary personnel and private armies of mining companies following the ambush attempt on a tribal leader actively opposing mining and logging activities.

While Timuay Lucenio Manda survived the ambush in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur last Tuesday with only minor injuries, his 11-year-old son Jordan, who was being groomed to succeed him, died.

"Our hearts are burning for justice. Thus, we ask President PNoy and other authorities to take all proper measures in identifying and apprehending perpetrators of this terrible crime," said Bae Marjorie Paulin, who heads an association of Subanen women, as she read a statement from the Subanen and Higaonon tribes.

"We raise our voices together, knowing that if we do not, this situation will be ignored and forgotten," said Paulin.

The Partnership Forum in Indigenous People's Peacebuilding in Mindanao also called for the immediate demobilization of alleged 617 private and irregular security forces in Bayog. PFIPPM documented in March the presence of excessive numbers of security forces which the group said outnumbered the combined forces of the military and the police in the area.

About 30 Subanen leaders from the Zamboanga Peninsula are gathered here in Iligan today for a conflict transformation seminar as scholars of Conflict Resolution Skills and Facilitation Enhancement Training of Resource-based Conflict and Peace-building Program of the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation Philippines (MPIFP).

Manda was supposedly one of the 30 Subanen and Higaonon leaders and scholars undergoing an 18-month training to "build the capacity of tribal leaders in holistic and transformative engagement regarding complex business ventures in their ancestral domain, particularly mining and other extractive industries."

"Had the attack not occurred, Manda is with us for this training; instead, he is planning for the burial of his eldest son," the group said.

"We vehemently condemn the brutal killing of Jordan and the attempted murder of his father," said Timuay Isis Guilingan from Sindangan, Zamboanga del Sur

He warned that if the ambush is not acted upon by the government, there will be more Jordans and Lucenios who will be murdered for standing up to their rights.

Although the timuays are yet waiting for more evidence to surface, they have strong suspicion that this is related to Manda's strong position to prioritize the application of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and the development of their land use through Ancestral Domain Sustainable and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) before mining companies should be allowed to operate within their ancestral domain claim.

Vicky Cajandig, a Subanen leader and also a member of Amnesty International (AI), shared that policemen have already conducted investigation at the crime scene and the local government has also called for a meeting to discuss the incident.

"But we are yet to know specific suspects and the reason why they made this crime," she said.

Paulin told MindaNews that Manda is not in good terms with some Subanens in the community who favor mining operation in Bayog.

Carino Antequisa, of the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development and MPIFP partner, explained to media that most of the ancestral domains of the lumads are covered with Mineral Production Sharing applications and one Financial Technical Agreement Assistance (FTAA) of the mining companies.

Jeremy Simons, an American who has devoted his works for conflict transformation through MPIFP, said that the incident only highlights the importance and urgency of finding non-violent, culturally sensitive, appropriate and effective means of resolving conflicts in the communities.

The PFIPPM, in a statement, asked the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to empower the lupong tagapamayapa to investigate human rights violations in the barangay and immediately activate independent human rights action centers in all barangays in Bayog. (Violeta M. Gloria / MindaNews)


2 suspects arrested in ambush of Subanen chieftain

By Tito Fiel

Inquirer Mindanao

8 September 2012

BAYOG, Zamboanga del Sur - Police authorities here have arrested two suspects in the ambush that killed the son of a Subanen chieftain in the forefront of the fight for ancestral domain of his tribespeople.

Inspector Erol Alejo, town police chief, said on Saturday that Marlon Luao and Coloy Entag were arrested in their houses in Barangay (village) Conacon around 10 a.m. Friday. The police also seized a caliber .45 pistol and bullets from one of the suspects, he said.

Alejo said the two suspects were identified by some witnesses as among the armed men, who ambushed Timuay Lucenio Manda on Tuesday.

Manda was driving his son, Jordan, to the school when five to eight armed men fired on him. He sustained a minor injury at the back but Jordan suffered fatal gunshot wounds that led to his death.

Alejo said the arrest of the suspects was conducted with the Army. "The suspects were about to escape when we got them," he said.

The two men are now detained at the Zamboanga del Sur police headquarters pending the filing of charges against them, Alejo said.

He said the investigation as to the motive of the ambush was continuing.

Manda had said he could not immediately think of any reason why would somebody attempt to kill him.

"I and the villagers are already in good terms after we addressed issues over my group's opposition to the operation of some mining companies here," Manda, who heads the Pigsalabukan Gukom di Bayog, said.

Recently, Manda led a group of Subanen chieftains in calling for a moratorium on all forms of mining in their claimed ancestral domains until after they have secured their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP), the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) said in a statement.

Manda is also leading an effort to strengthen and unify the efforts of the Subanens in the Central Zamboanga Peninsula to claim and protect their remaining ancestral domain, ATM said.

"He, along with Catholic bishops and concerned groups, has petitioned for a writ of kalikasan in a bid to protect the Pinukis Range Forest, described as among the last untouched forest region in the Zamboanga Peninsula but was included in the mining claims of several companies," ATM added.

The militant anti-mining group said Manda's fight for ancestral domain rights could be behind the ambush.

"Timuay Manda has been leading his tribe in claiming and protecting their ancestral domain in the last 10 years," ATM said.

The militant group said in 2002, Timuay Giovanni Umbang was also killed because of his campaign for ancestral domain. Manda and Umbag were cousins.

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