MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Subanon Farmers Sustain Four Months Barricade to Stop Illegal Mining Activities

Published by MAC on 2002-01-12


Subanon Farmers Sustain Four Months Barricade to Stop Illegal Mining Activities

By Tito Natividad Fiel - 12th January 2002

Subanon farmers are staging a barricade to stop illegal marble mining in the Philippines due to a fear of environmental disaster. The barricade is led by the affected communities through "Kusog sa Katawhang Nagsupak sa Mina sa lungsod sa Guipos ug San Miguel (KKNM-GSM)" or "People's forces against mining from the town of Guipos and San Miguel". They are vowing to stop the alleged illegal operation of A-Dynasty Multipurpose Cooperative (ADMC), a company of rich men in Pagadian City, who have foreign investors under the guise of a cooperative to engage in local mining, leaders said. The picket is already three months old, as it started on October 11 2001, to prevent the exploration activities of ADMC to statisfy their prospected investors and market because of fear that their rice fields would be affected.

On October 12, 2001, the ADMC people tried to force their compressor machine to be brought to the target site for the exploration, but they failed when the picketers insisted not to push through. October 19, ADMC management filed criminal charges against the leaders of the picketers for alleged harrasment to them when they about to push through their activities on mining business. At the same time that day, the directly affected two barangays; one from Dalapan, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur and Ocapan San Miguel of the same province, signed a joint resolution supporting the cause of the people against the said marble mining. The warrant of arrest were issued by the Muncipal Trial Court here against the eighten leaders and members of the picketers on October 29, 2001. But despite the incident, the people are sutaining their picket to show even the local government to national level that they don't want any mining activities to protect their means of living.

In November 19, 1997, ADMC obtained its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) for marble mining over the area. A letter from Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB) Region 9, Zamboanga City, signed by its Director Dean Apao dated November 23, 2001 to Rev. Fr. Arsenio C. Marane shows that ADMC's activities are illegal. Apao said "ADMC's MPSA was not registered at his office because of failure to pay its annual occupation fee, after having been duly notified to pay the said fees as required under Sections 43, 218 and 219 of DAO 96-40 series of 1996, Philippine Mining Act of 1995". Provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur record shows that, the activity of ADMC is illegal, because it is violating the provisions in the Provincial Tax Ordinance No. 4 and Administrative Order No. 3 for operating aggregate materials without Governor's permit. In view of the illegal activities of the foregoing, the ADMC was directed by the Community Environment and Natural Resourcess office (CENRO) here to cease and desist from conducting any activity connection with mining operation over here, the order dated December 22, 2001 signe by CENR-officer Michael F. Dela Cruz said.

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