MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Church And Local Government Joins Against Destructive Mining

Published by MAC on 2007-08-12
Source: DCMI

Church and Local Government Joins Against Destructive Mining

By Daniel Castillo, DCMI - Prelature of Ipil

12th August 2007

Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay - The Diocesan Clergy of Ipil, led by the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Joel Ramasola, and the Local Government of this town, led by Mayor Richard Tiu, made a joint declaration against destructive mining last week. The declaration was the result of a joint ocular inspection of the operation of medium-scale mining in the Barangays of Kapatagan and Payongan.

The two groups who conducted the joint inspection found that the said mining activities carried out long time ago which unknown by the local government and residents far from these said barangays. During the visit, Mayor Richard Tiu and the members of municipal council, urged those engaged in the medium-scale mining to stop and leave the area as soon as possible to avoid legal action The investigators discovered that the mining activities are owned by a certain Philip Tan from Zamboanga City, from outside the area.

Municipal Councilor Ben Babaran confirmed that the Mayor and all members of the municipal council are fully against all forms of destructive mining. The Parish Assembly of the Municipality of Alicia also shared their own position against all destructive, aggressive and exploitative mining, not merely in Alicia town but all over Zamboanga Peninsula. The Mayor of Alicia shared with the church that the Canadian mining company TVI Pacific, who are accused of multiple human rights violations in Mount Canatuan, Zamboanga del Norte, courted him to operate mining in the town.

But the Mayor warned the company that they should undergo the proper processes mandated by law and in accordance with the norms and tradition of the people living there, and should not replicate what they did in Canatuan. TVI Pacific firm is presently operating in Mount Canatuan, despite it failing to get the genuine consent from the legal and legitimate owner of the Subanon's Ancestral Domain. Despite constant accusations of human rights violations and environmental destruction in Canatuan and beyond, the company has stubbornly continued to operate an open cut mining with the support from the national government and the Canadian Government, though its Embassy in Manila.

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