Social Action-Justice and Peace Desk Diocese of Marbel Stands Firm in Opposing Mining Activities inPublished by MAC on 2004-10-08
Social Action-Justice and Peace Desk Diocese of Marbel Stands Firm in Opposing Mining Activities in Tamapkan
Press Release for Press conference
October 8, 2004, Greenwoods, Koronadal City
The diocese of Marbel is saddened by the change of heart of the Blaan communities by allowing Tampakan Mining Resources Corp. (TMRC) to conduct mineral exploratory activities in the area, but the diocese remains steadfast in its advocacy and education in opposing the ill-effects of mining to the environment and the community.
The diocese understands and respects the decision of the different Tribal Councils especially in Salnaong. The Salnaong Tribal Council was once a staunch ally of the diocese in opposing the mining exploration of the previous holder of mining rights, the Western Mining Corporation (WMC) which later became the Tampakan Mineral Resources Corp and is now called Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI). The diocese understands that the IPs in the area have already suffered a great deal from successive harassment because of their previous anti-mining stand.
Be that as it may, the diocese of Marbel holds:
- That the presence of TMRC/SMI in Tampakan has caused divisions of our indigenous people. Already, this is evidenced by the developing materialistic preference of a good number of them.
- That the presence of mining activities in Tampakan is an encroachment to the ancestral domain and would lead to the dislocation of the IPs.
- That what is at stake is not only the welfare of the IP communities in the area upstream but also to the populace downstream towards Liguasan Marsh. Mining operations would result to soil erosion thus clogging lowland irrigation system. Besides, Tampakan is considered a watershed area and is the headwater source of five major rivers in the province of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat. Any mining operations within the area would adversely affect water supply in the SOCKSARGEN area.
- That any mining operation is detrimental to the indigenous flora and fauna - a negative impact in the biodiversity of the area, and would result to the deterioration of environmental quality which is vital to sustain biological life and
- That any form of mining operation would endanger the integrity of creation.
- Therefore, the diocese of Marbel, together with the different stakeholders strongly believes that it is her mission to continue the campaign against mining activities in the area of Tampakan. The diocese has never changed in her anti-mining position and will never waver in her advocacy to protect life of the present and the future generation, the environment and the integrity of creation.
- Finally, October is IP month with the theme, KULTURANG LUMAD, NAKAUGAT SA YUTANG KABILIN. To highlight this occasion, a Caravan Rally from the city of Koronadal to the municipality of Tamapakan is scheduled on October 18, 2004. This will be participated by all the parishes in the diocese, members of the Coalition of Anti-Mining Movement (CAMM) and partners NGOs and POs of SOCKSARGEN-Maguindanao area.