MAC: Mines and Communities

Local Court Us To Hear Million Peso Damages Case Filed By Subanan Vs Tvi

Published by MAC on 2001-05-01
Source: DCMI ()

LOCAL COURT IS TO HEAR ONE MILLION PESO DAMAGES CASE FILED BY SUBANON VS TVI

DCMI Mining update

Siocon Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines – For almost six years now, the Branch 27 Regional Trial Court in Siocon has been waiting to hear the 1.1 million peso damages case filed by “Timuay” (Chieftain) José “Boy” Anoy, the legitimate ancestral domain holder, against the TVI Resource Development Philippines, a Canadian mining firm.

The case against TVI is very strong and the evidence is very clear, according to the legal counsel of Anoy, Attorney Rejoice Subejano. In the case, Timuay Anoy stated that in 1997, TVI by force, threat, intimidation, scheme and strategy entered into a portion of the ancestral land of his people at Mt. Canatuan, Siocon and immediately established checkpoints. He said, the company’s checkpoints, manned by armed men, continuously curtailed the movement of the people, especially those openly opposed to the company’s operation.

The case states that “The entry of the company into the Subanon Ancestral domain is illegal because it was in gross and grave violation of Presidential Decree No. 1818, Executive Order No. 122-C, and the other related laws”.

On October 19, 1999 at about 8pm, while Timuay Anoy was returning home to Canatuan from a conference in Manila, the motor vehicle he was riding was stopped by the armed security men and he was stopped from entering his ancestral domain. Timuay Anoy insisted on passing through the checkpoints, and the guards who manned it called the company’s security headquarters through a radio communication, but the security guard was instructed by the management not to allow him to pass through. He was had to charter a motorcycle and turn back to the where he had come from looking for another means to reach his home. Anoy was able to take an abandoned, rough and dangerous road with significant dangers, including the potential for ambush and robbery, in order to reach home.

Prior to the October 19, 1999 incident, Anoy’s followers were likewise stopped by the armed company security guards at their checkpoints, and stripped of their goods. This was seen as a 'food blockade', in order to ensure they quit their ancestral domain. The company’s acts prohibiting the ancestral domain holder and his followers to peacefully travel and live within their ancestral domain constitutes a gross and grave violations of the complainant and his follower’s constitutional right to travel and their liberty of abode and an infringement of their right under the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim.

The company’s acts caused a negative effect on his leadership and unspeakable shame, untold worries, serious anxiety, sleepless nights, social humiliation and excruciating wounded feelings, for which he demands that he be compensated by the company jointly and severally, in the sum of one million pesos as moral damages.

Anoy also demanded the company to pay the Attorney's fee of 80,000 pesos exclusive of travel, accommodation and other incidental expenses in connection with this case, 50,000 representing exemplary damages and another 50,000 representing actual damages.

Attorney Subejano is acting on behalf of DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI). DCMI as a church-based committee traversing all over Western and Central Mindanao Region who have supported the Subanon and been monitoring this case since it was filed in 2000.

Tito Natividad Fiel Program Coordinator DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues G/F, Diocesan Pastoral Center, Sicayab, Dipolog City Philippines

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