MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Philippines Update

Published by MAC on 2006-06-09


Philippines Update

9th June 2006

Although there are many updates on mining in the Philippines, not least the continuing arguments over Lafayette's Rapu Rapu mine, the main issue dominating civil society concern is the escalating killings of activists. These have averaged four every week since the beginning of this year. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Amnesty International, even the regime’s own Commission of Human Rights, are among the many Philippine and international organizations which have declared their deep concern over the escalation of extrajudicial killings.

As reported on MAC in March 2006, mining campaigner and activist Joey Estribar is still missing, now presumed dead. Recently a left-wing organiser from the South Tagalog region, Noli Capulong, was killed allegedly for openly speaking against mining activities in the region. On 8th June a member of MAC board members, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), was killed this. Rafael Markus Bangit, the Coordinator of the Elders Desk of the CPA, was gunned down in public. This follows the killing in May, in similar circumstances, of Jose Doton, a peasant leader linked with the CPA in defence of the Agno river. There are concerns for other members of the CPA who are on a death squad hit list that the CPA got hold of in February this year. As the days pass it becomes ever more dangerous for Filipinos to voice legal opposition to the activities of the current regime in the Philippines.

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