MAC: Mines and Communities

Tvi Explains Side On Canatuan Mining Row

Published by MAC on 2007-07-05
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer ()

TVI explains side on Canatuan mining row

Inquirer, http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/letterstotheeditor/view_article.php?article_id=74863

5th July 2007

We laud Daxim Lucas for his objectivity on the issue of revitalizing mining. (“Mining is poised for takeoff, but old woes persist,” Inquirer, 6/11/07) Among the “woes” mentioned in his report were the human rights violations allegedly committed against indigenous peoples, Jose Anoy among them. Please allow us to present our side.

1. Anoy and other members of his tribe were never evicted from their ancestral domain. They were repudiated by their community and voted out of leadership of the Siocon Subanon Association Inc. (SSAI), which is recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples as the legal representative of the Canatuan Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) holders. Their leadership was rejected in part because of their reported alignment with what was believed by the community to be the evils of small-scale mining, which was operating illegally in Canatuan from the early 1990s until the early 2000s.

2. Mount Canatuan is not sacred. The only identifiable Subanons who seriously consider it sacred are members of anti-mining organizations who indirectly benefited from the above-cited small-scale mining in that mountain but who, after their leadership was rejected by the majority of their community, began using the mountain’s “sacredness” as a rallying cry in international discourse.

3. TVI’s presence in Canatuan has IP consent. As a gesture of good faith, TVI entered into a memorandum of understanding and, subsequently, a memorandum of agreement, with the SSAI for the development of Canatuan despite the fact that TVI secured its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement with the Philippine government prior to the issuance of the CADT to the Subanons.

4. Anoy is not a Timuay (tribal chief). Anoy’s lineage and status as a Timuay were challenged by many in the community because he did not come from the local community and because of other reasons.

Over the last several years, TVI has refuted these and many other allegations against the company in considerable detail, and those materials are available on the TVI website (www.tviphilippines.com).

Visitors to the website can also see the expanding list of the company’s successful efforts to help the Canatuan Subanons enjoy more of their human rights—including rights to development, health, education, employment, food, water and security, as well as sustainable development—in a better way.

TVI’s Canatuan Project enjoys the strong support of the Subanons who have joined in the common effort to judiciously use resources as a means of attaining economic and social progress. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish in Canatuan. We are inviting Lucas to our project site so that he will be able to see for himself and to talk to the real people who have benefited from these accomplishments.

ROCKY DIMACULANGAN,
director, public affairs,
TVI Resources Development Philippines Inc.,
22/F Equitable PCI Bank Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City Philippines

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