MAC: Mines and Communities

Philippines: Environment defenders decry the killing of Surigao indigenous leader

Published by MAC on 2017-01-24
Source: Davaotoday.com, Kalikasan PNE (2017-01-24)

Veronico “Nico” Lapsay Delamente was a 27 year-old Mamanwa leader

A leader of Mamanwa tribe was gunned down by unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle on Friday, Jan. 20, in Claver, a mining town in Surigao del Norte region.

Veronico “Nico” Lapsay Delamente (27), anti-mining activist and tribal leader, was an active member of the Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong mga Organisasyon (KASALO) – Caraga, a regional indigenous Lumad organization that is part of Kalikasan PNE’s Mindanao network. He was also a council member of AMPANTRENTO, a Lumad people’s organization in Claver under Datu Renante Baklas recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP).

“Nico Delamente was an outspoken critic of the various large-scale mines owned by Nickel Asia-Sumitomo and other companies that continue to encroach into their ancestral lands. We condemn the Duterte government’s perpetuation of bloody impunity against environment defenders, as Delamente is already the 10th victim of environment-related killings under the Duterte administration,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) and spokesperson of the Task Force – Justice for Environment Defenders (TF-JED).

See also on MAC:

2016-10-11 Philippines: Anti-mining leader dies in hospital after gunmen attack

2016-02-06 Philippines: Murderous mining

Surigao IP leader, anti-mining activist, gunned down

Mart D. Sambalud

http://davaotoday.com/main/human-rights/surigao-ip-leader-anti-mining-activist-gunned-down/

Jan. 23, 2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A leader of Mamanwa tribe was gunned down by unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle on Friday, Jan. 20 in Claver, a mining town in Surigao del Norte.

The anti-mining activist and tribal leader, identified as Veronico “Nico” Lapsay Delamente, 27, was shot dead at around 12:20 noon last Friday in Punta Naga, Brgy. Caagdianao, according to Kalipunan ng Mga Katutubong Mamayan ng Pilipinas.

Kasalo, a Lumad organization in Caraga, said that two men onboard a motorcycle with their faces covered arrived in Punta Naga and shot Delamente  several times.

He was rushed to a hospital at Surigao city but he died instantly. A child was reportedly hit by a bullet and is still confined in the hospital.

“The assailants were not apprehended despite the presence of a military detachment of the Task Force Diamond of the Philippine Army at the entrance of the road exiting Punta Naga,” the group said.

Delamente was killed on the same day that Lumad-Mamanwas were set to hold a meeting in Punta Naga for the Indigenous People’s Survey with the NCIP representatives in Surigao del Norte.

“The assembly was being held to discuss the conflicts between Lumad groups in connection with the large scale nickel mining operations within the ancestral lands of the Lumad Mamanwa,” Kamp said.

KAMP said Delamente was a provincial coordinator of Katribu Partylist since 2010 and an active member of the Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong mga Organisasyon, the regional Lumad organization in Caraga.

He was also a council member of the AMPANTRENTO, an NCIP-recognized organization of the Lumad people in Claver under Datu Renante Buklas.

Delamente was known for fighting the rights of Mamanwa tribe and his tough stance against the large scale nickel mining companies operating within their ancestral lands. These are Adnama Mining Resources Inc. Tag-anito Mining Company-Nickel Asia Corp., Platinum Group Metals Corp. and Claver Mineral Development Corp.

Last December 2016, the group of Datu Renante Buklas filed a graft and grave abuse of authority complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against Congressman Prospero Pichay of Surigao del Sur who is the owner of CMDC for his forcible eviction of the Lumad-Mamanwas from his mining concession.

Thereafter, Delamente revealed the threats to his life in connection with his refusal to agree to the “plans” for large scale mining in Claver. (davaotoday.com)


With murder of Surigao indigenous leader, environment defenders killed under Duterte gov’t now at 10

Kalikasan PNE press release

23 January 2017

Environment defenders decried the killing of Veronico “Nico” Lapsay Delamente, a 27 year-old indigenous Mamanwa leader in the province of Claver, Surigao del Norte who was a known leader of the people’s opposition to the plethora of large-scale mining operations across the province, saying his death was the tenth case of environment-related killings monitored under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Nico Delamente was an outspoken critic of the various large-scale mines owned by Nickel Asia-Sumitomo and other companies that continue to encroach into their ancestral lands. We condemn the Duterte government’s perpetuation of bloody impunity against environment defenders, as Delamente is already the 10th victim of environment-related killings under the Duterte administration,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) and spokesperson of the Task Force – Justice for Environment Defenders (TF-JED).

The TF-JED, a network of families and supporters of environmental martyrs, has now recorded at least 108 cases of political killings involving environment defenders since 2001. Delamente is the third case recorded this month alone, including environment broadcaster Mario Contaoi in Ilocos Sur, and Datu Vennie Diamante, an indigenous leader in South Cotabato who opposed the entry of palm oil plantations in their areas.

“At least 48 percent of the recorded killings involved suspected military and other state armed forces. The widespread militarization by the Armed Forces of the Philippines especially in environmentally-affected areas continued to inflict fear and violence among communities across provinces where environmental struggles are active,” said Dulce.

Delamente was an active member of the Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong mga Organisasyon (KASALO) – Caraga, a regional indigenous Lumad organization that is part of Kalikasan PNE’s Mindanao network. He was also a council member of AMPANTRENTO, a Lumad people’s organization in Claver under Datu Renante Baklas recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP).

KASALO Caraga said in a statement that Delamente publicly raised issues of corruption involving the 1% royalty awarded by mining companies to the Lumad and the NCIP. They also noted that Delamente and the rest of AMPANTRENTO filed charges at the Office of the Ombudsman against Congressman Prospero Pichay, an owner of one of the operating large-scale mines in Claver, for forcibly evicting Lumad-Mamanwas from his mining concession.

“Environment Secretary Gina Lopez promised last year to help probe recent environment-related killings. It is becoming apparent that the Duterte government heeds no concern as there is still no investigation, no arrest of suspected perpetrators, and no prosecution pursued. We demand Pres. Duterte and Sec. Lopez to take immediate action in investigating the recent cases and the corporations that stood to gain from the killing of environment defenders,” said Dulce.

“Despite Duterte’s pronouncements against destructive mining, these killings are a result of a still unabated government policy to prioritize interests of big mining corporations over the welfare and security of our communities and environment. If Duterte’s rhetoric on mining turns out to be yet another broken promise and large-scale mining continues more-business-as-usual, expect mine-affected communities to continue to be killing fields,” ended Dulce.

National Secretariat
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site: www.kalikasan.net


Lumad leader shot in Claver, Surigao del Norte

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/network/local-news/2017/01/22/lumad-leader-shot-claver-surigao-del-norte-521447

22 January 2017

A MAMANWA tribe leader was killed by unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle in Claver, a mining town in Surigao del Norte, on Friday, January 20.

Veronico "Nico" Lapsay Delamente, 27 years old, leader of a Mamanwa tribe, was shot several times by unknown assailants around 12:20 p.m. in Punta Naga, Barangay Cagdianao.

In a statement, the lumad (Indigenous People) organization in Caraga region, Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong mga Organisasyon (Kasalo), were able to talk to witnesses who said two men in a motorcycle, with their faces covered, arrived in Punta Naga, while the lumads were scheduled to hold a meeting with officials from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), approached the victim and shot him several times.

Delamente, who was known to be an active anti-mining advocate, was brought to a nearby hospital in Surigao City where he died.

A child who also was reportedly hit by a bullet is still in the hospital as of 5:35 p.m., Sunday, January 22.

Kasalo alleged government forces did not apprehend the suspects "despite the presence of a military detachment of the Task Force Diamond of the Philippine Army at the entrance of the road exiting Punta Naga."

Lumad-Mamanwas were reportedly gathered in Punta Naga for the Indigenous People’s Survey called by representatives of the NCIP in Surigao del Norte.

The assembly was called to thresh out conflicts between Lumad groups in connection with the large scale nickel mining operations within the ancestral lands of the Lumad-Mamanwa.

Last December 2016, Mamanwa tribal leaders filed a graft and grave abuse of authority complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against Surigao del Sur Representative Prospero Pichay allegedly for forcible eviction against their ancestral lands and the illegal extraction of mineral ores.

Kasalo also said Delamente revealed the threats to his life "in connection with his refusal to agree to the “plans” for large scale mining in Claver." (VLA/SunStar Philippines)


 

Justice for the Killing of VERONICO “Nico” L. DELAMENTE, Mamanwa tribal leader, an active member of the Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong mga Organisasyon (KASALO) -Caraga

An open letter from the Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)

23 January 2017

To His Excellency President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

Dear President Duterte,

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR), joins the Filipino human rights defenders, environmental advocates, people’s organizations, and international rights groups in strongly denouncing the killing of Veronico L. Delamente, Mamanwa tribal leader, an active member of the Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong mga Organisasyon (KASALO)-Caraga.

Delamante was shot by unidentified motorcycle riding assailants last January 20, 2017. Delamente was known for his leadership in the struggle for the rights of the Mamanwa tribe against large scale nickel mining companies operating within their ancestral lands.

We send our deepest condolences to Delamente family and the communities and people he worked with.

According to our data, Delamente was the 10th victim of extra-judicial killings in Mindanao since July last year, following the killing of environmental anti-mining activist Joselito Pasaporte in Compostela Valley Province on October 13, 2016 and the abduction of Davis Mogul and Macky Mogul, both environmental activists in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat early December last year.

The killing occurs as the third round of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) progresses in Rome, Italy.

We call on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to strictly abide by previously signed agreements in the peace talks especially now that the supplemental guidelines to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) was signed on the third day of their third round of talks with the NDFP.

This agreement should address the long list of human rights violations already being suffered by Lumad and peasants across Mindanao.

CPSHR demands justice for Veronico “Nico” Delamente and other victims of extrajudicial killings. We take into account that to this day, the perpetrators of these human rights abuses remain free and no one has been prosecuted.

Thank you and we hope for your immediate attention and action on this case.

Respectfully yours,

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)


Transmitted via electronic mail:

CANADA-PHILIPPINES SOLIDARITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (CPSHR)
1-5687 West Blvd Vancouver, BC Canada
Email: cps_hr@yahoo.ca


Four activists killed this January 2017, two are Lumad leader-advocates for defense of ancestral lands

KARAPATAN urgent action

31 January 2016

Four farmers – Venie Diamante, Veronico Delamente, Alexander Ceballos, and Wencislao Pacquiao –have been killed in a month, two of them indigenous leaders in Mindanao. Please join us in condemning the continuing attacks against farmers and leaders of indigenous communites who have dedicated their lives in defense of their land and rights. As the Duterte administration and its Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced their new counter-insurgency plan Oplan Kapayapaan, replacing Oplan Bayanihan, attacks targetting land and environmental activists, perpetrated by private armies of landed families and mining firms complicit or in connivance with State security forces, continue. While names of operational plans changed, the military’s objectives to quell dissent and defense of people’s rights remain. Such killings are also reflective of the prevalent dominance of big landlords and businesses in the Philippines and their use of violence against peasants struggling for genuine agrarian reform. The killings occurred before and during the third round of formal peacetalks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), when both Parties started to tackle the crafting of an agreement on socio-economic reforms including genuine agrarian reform and rural development. Let us come together to demand for justice for the slain peasant activists and to call for an end to this climate of impunity. Let us demand and fight for comprehensive reforms and fundamental change to solve the root causes of injustice, landlessness and poverty in the country.

ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT

On January 5, 2017, around 4pm, Venie Diamante, 43, a T’boli and municipal tribal chieftain, was brutally killed by an unnamed assailant on board a motorcycle while on his way home from Koronadal City. Diamante was already near his residence in Sitio Lambusong, Brgy. Puti, Norala, South Cotabato, when the gunman continuously fired at him; he sustained eight (8) gunshot wounds. He was left on the side of the road, when a couple found him while on their way to the market. Diamante’s remains were brought to funeral parlor in Sentro Nola.

On the morning of the next day, January 6, 2017, the regional police arrived to investigate the incident. Residents from the community attested that Diamante was a good person and a respected tribal leader. The police then showed a petition to survey the area which is part of the T’boli ancestral domain, a move that Diamante strongly advocated against. In 2010, a village resolution was passed to conduct the said land surveying, without the knowledge of Lumad residents in the community. On January 12, 2012, when the aforementioned resolution was made known, Diamante and four (4) other datu (tribal chief) filed a petition at the office of the tribal council against plans to conduct the said land surveying of the T’boli ancestral domain. The said barangay resolution, Resolution No. 3, series of 2010, would allow the setting up of a subdivision in the area shared by Lumad and Christian settlers. Captain Honorio Villa was suspected to have passed the resolution to cause divide between the Christian settlers and the Lumad to eventually pave the way for the entry of palm oil plantations in the area.

Weeks later, on January 20, 2017, two activists in Surigao del Norte and in Negros Occidental were killed. Katribu regional partylist coordinator Veronico Delamente, 27, a Lumad-Mamanwa and member of Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong Organisasyon (KASALO) in the CARAGA region, was shot by two unnamed assailants in Punta Naga, Brgy. Cagdianao, Claver, Surigao del Norte. Delamente, along with other council members of Asosasyon sa Madajaw na Panaghiusa sa Tribung Mamanwa sa Tag-anito ug Urbizondo (AMPANTRIMTU), an organization recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), were invited for an emergency meeting with the NCIP with regard to an indigenous people survey to approve the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) proposal of the Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC) to expand their mining operations in the area. Since December of last year, the FPIC proposal was already on the table for the approval of AMPANTRIMTU council members, which Delamente had earlier rejected.

On the noon of January 20, two men on board a motorcycle – the driver wearing a hoodie with his face partially covered by a handkerchief while the person on the passenger seat was wearing a bonnet and a black jacket with the words ‘CIDG’ printed in the back – were seen in the area. By 12:37pm, while Delamente and the others were waiting in the Punta Naga gym, the motorcycle returned to the gym whereby the man in the passenger seat got off and fired his Uzi at Delamente. Delamente was hit, fell down, and was trying to crawl away when the gunman caught him by the hair and shot him at close range. The gunman also fired at Joel Buklas, 42, also a council member of AMPANTRIMTU who was against the PGMC FPIC proposal. Buklas was able to escape but Lovely Delamente, Veronico Delamente’s 4-year-old niece, was hit. After having shot Delamente, the gunman shouted out that he will finish all of Delamente’s siblings, before finally leaving. Delamente and Lovely were rushed to the Miranda Hospital. Delamente died after 5 minutes of attempts to revive him, while the his 4-year-old niece is still in confinement.

On the evening of the same day, around 8pm, Alexander Ceballos, 54, regional council member and district area coordinator of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) was gunned down by two unnamed assailants near his house in Purok Tangke, Brgy. Pandanon Silos, Murcia, Negros Occidental. Ceballos was rushed to the Sanitarium Hospital in Bacolod City but was declared dead-on-arrival.

Ceballos and his family has long been the target of threats and intimidation by the Dela Cruz clan, a political clan who controls the town of Salvador Benedicto for more than 20 years. Ceballos’ involvement in organizing and mobilizing farmers to uphold and defend their rights have earned him the ire of the Dela Cruz family. In fact, on July 17, 2015, Alexander Ceballos’ son, Ariel Ceballos, survived an ambush when armed gunmen indiscriminately fired at the vehicle they were in. His fellow farmers suspected that Alexander was the original target. More recently, in a dialogue between the farmers, the provincial office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and the Dela Cruz family represented by Nehemias Dela Cruz Jr., the latter openly threatened Alexander and Ariel Ceballos with charges to be filed in court and vowed to retrieve all the lands already distributed to the farmers from the Dela Cruz clan.

On January 28, 2017, Quilina Ceballos, wife of Alexander Ceballos, received a death threat via text message. The message stated: ‘You, your companions, and your two children’s place in the cemetery is ready.’ Quilina Ceballos received the threats while still in mourning for her husband’s death.

On a separate incident in January 25, 2017, another farmer from Negros Occidental, Wencislao Pacquiao, 48, member of the San Benito Farmers Association- Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), was shot while doing work in the designated land cultivation area (LCA). He was with Rebeco Pabuaya, another farmer from the same organization. Around 9 in the morning, Pacquiao was approached by a gunman and was shot in the back. He was hit in the thigh and still managed to run but was pursued by the shooter and sustained more shots. Pacquiao sustained five (5) gunshot wounds. Pabuaya was also targeted but because he was working in the lower part of the LCA, he managed to escape. Pacquiao was shot at close range and was clearly targeted by the shooter.

In 2015, there was already an attempt on Pacquiao’s life. His residence was strafed by the goons of then-barangay captain Nonoy Hullesa. Nonoy Hullesa is the brother of Agustilo Hullesa, the leaser of the land that farmers from San Benito are currently cultivating. In 2014, the DAR acquired the land from Angelina Bruce Laguda through the Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS), but the department awarded Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to questionable beneficiaries. Pacquiao and several farmers filed a case against DAR for conniving with Agustilo Hullesa in distributing CLOAs to ‘dummy beneficiaries’. The land distributed to these dummy beneficiaries are now under the control of Agustilo Hullesa, who uses the land for leasing. Pacquiao led the filing of the case which seeks to award CLOAs to real farmer-beneficiaries and withdraw the lands awarded to the men of Agustilo Hullesa. The long-standing case has yet to be resolved.

Recommended actions:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

1. The immediate investigation of the separate incidents to be conducted by an independent body;
2. The immediate investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators which includes landed elites, mining firms and hired goons under the protection of said landlords and corporations;
3. An end to the continued harassment and intimidation of Lumad in and out of their communities;
4. The protection of peasant activists and environmental defenders with regard to their work in the defense of land and the environment;
5. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to look into the petition filed by Wencislao Pacquiao and other farmers regarding the questionable awarding of CLOAs, and the resolution of all agrarian cases in favour of peasants;
6. The intervention of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in cases where threat, harassment, and intimidation is used to coerce tribal leaders and communities to agree to mining ventures;
7. An end to counter-insurgency programs like Oplan Bayanihan and Oplan Kapayapaan;
8. The Philippine Government to pursue its commitment for a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) that comprehensively tackles the deeply-rooted feudal relations in the country, and move towards free land distribution of monopolized lands;
9. The Philippine Government to pursue its commitment to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which includes the right of peasants, indigenous communities, and environmental protection; and
10. The Philippine Government to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Rodrigo Duterte
President of the Republic
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: op@president.gov.ph or send message through http://president.gov.phcontact-us/

Hon. Jesus Dureza
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
Email: stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph, feedback@opapp.net

Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
Email: info@dnd.gov.ph, webmaster@dnd.gov.ph

Hon. Vitaliano Aguirre
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email: communications@doj.gov.ph

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below:

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
National Office
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central,
Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Email: urgentaction[at]karapatan.org
Website: www.karapatan.org

 

 

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