MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Paying Pro-tvi Canadian Mining Rally

Published by MAC on 2006-11-11
Source: DCMI

Paying Pro-TVI Canadian Mining Rally

By Tito Natividad Fiel, DCMI

11th November 2006

Dipolog City - Contrary to the press report released by the Canadian mining company TVI Pacific in Zamboanga and Dipolog City a week ago that they have been welcomed by the people in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, the regional Church based group here alleges that TVI had paid people to rally in support of their local mining operations.

The community organizer from the Prelature of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay reported that on November 8, "contrary to the company's public relation work, TVI's pro-mining rally on October 30 and 31 was not genuinely supported by the people of Bayog."

According to the organizer, TVI promised to pay 150 pesos to each motor and pedicab [rickshaw] driver for them to join a pro-mining rally, which aimed to show the public that the local people welcomed the company.

The report claims that those people went to the rally in support of TVI mining operation not from their own conviction that mining brings them in a better life, but due to the financial consideration offered to them.

However, some of the drivers and pro-mining rally participants were dismayed after the rally, because TVI allegedly broke its promise and failed to pay the amount being offered.

The report quotes interviews with some of the jeepney [bus], pedicab and motorcycle drivers, where it notes that all of them were chartered by the company to be used by TVI to exclusively transport their supporters, and they were disallowed by the company to pick up passengers except those identified by company.

The report criticizes an alleged TVI funded local radio program for claiming that all the people of Bayog supported the pro-mining rally, while a counter anti-mining rally relied on people outside Bayog. The truth is that TVI gathered a pocket of people in Bayog not because of their own desire but due to the financial and job promises.

TVI transported about 100 people from José Dalman, Zamboanga del Norte, 100 from Siocon and 100 from R.T. Lim to join the pro-mining rally in Bayog in exchange for job hiring.

The government's Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 9, headed by its Director attended the pro-mining rally, the report added.

A few months ago, the church group organising the anti-mining rally received information from the local government of Bayog and from the company itself, that they would conduct a pro-mining rally at the same time and date as counter of the anti-mining rally.

Rev. Fr. Nador Hisulga, an administrator of Prelature of Ipil, wasdismayed by how the Mayor of Bayog, Mary Ann Cartalla, disallowed the approximately 500 Subanon of Bayog the right to march in public places to air their positions against mining.

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