MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Subanon refuse consent to TVI

Published by MAC on 2007-06-22

Subanon refuse consent to TVI

By Tito Natividad Fiel, DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI)

22nd June 2007

Paduan Candiz, Siocon Zamboanga Del Norte – The Subanon, under the ancestral domain of their ancestor “Apu Manglang”, reiterated their position of not giving consent to the Canadian mining firm TVI Pacific’s application for expansion of its mining operations.

Timuay Jose “Boy” Anoy, in a speech before his people and the company on Sunday June 17, reiterated that they had not even given consent to the present operation of TVI within the 508 hectares’ MPSA, even though the company has stubbornly continued to operate its mine.

“Soliling” Onsino Mato, acted as spokesperson for Timuay Anoy during the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process conducted by the Regional NCIP. He said, “from the beginning our tribe has not given consent, even to your present mining operation in our sacred ground at Mount Canatuan, but you have disrespected it by continuing operations. We will be even stronger in not giving our consent for your expansion”.

Despite the sweeteners offered by the TVI Community Relations Personnel to the Subanon, such as providing lunch and an apologetic gesture during the consultative Assembly at the Tribal Hall of Timuay Jose “Boy” Anoy, the Subanon concluded that they would not give consent.

Onsino Mato told DCMI that he felt the apologies of TVI personnel was just a deceitful way to win over the hearts and minds of the Subanon and get consent for their expansion. However, the wound inflicted by the company on the Subanon goes deeper and has not yet been healed.

TVI Pacific conducted mining exploration in Mount Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte between 1995 and 2003 without obtaining the genuine and legitimate consent from the legal and owner of the ancestral domain.

On 14 March 2004, TVI attempted to conduct open-cut mining in Mount Canatuan but were hampered by legitimate protests led by the Save Siocon Paradise Movement involving the Subanon, Muslims and Christians. But on 17 March, TVI’s Special CAFGU Armed Auxiliaries (SCAA) indiscriminately fired on the protesters resulting in the injury of the 70 year old Subanon Chieftain Timuay Macario Salacao and other protesters. However the company still failed to disperse the crowd and the protestors successfully prevented the company’s heavy equipment from proceeding to Mount Canatuan from the heart of the Siocon town.

TVI management declared on April 17 the same year that it would discontinue its operation as scheduled and finally withdrew its heavy equipments. But on June the same year the company resumed its operation using the roads from R.T. Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay into the mining site.

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