MAC/20: Mines and Communities

TVI takes Hostage Four Injured Residents

Published by MAC on 2006-06-26

TVI takes Hostage Four Injured Residents

26th June 2006

Press Release Tito Natividad Fiel, DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues Canatuan, Tabayo, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines – The Canatuan Farmers Association (CFA) today accused TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc of taking hostage the four injured farmers who were maltreated by the company’s 100 Special (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit or CAFGU) Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) two nights ago during its sudden harassment against the helpless farmers for force negotiation.

Manolita Galves, a resident of Canatuan, who suffered serious physical injuries during the incident, in a phone interview today accuses TVI of banning them from passing through the company’s checkpoints. It is doing this to force her, and her family, to enter into a negotiation with the company against their wishes. The company’s emissary has continuously been looking for her inside the ancestral domain because it wants to talk to her. But she has advised her companions to tell TVI’s negotiator that she does not want to even look at the shadow of any TVI negotiators.

The company has placed all its checkpoints in a red alert status to ensure that the injured residents cannot get away from Canatuan and seek police assistance for official documentation or proper medical attention, in case people discover the extent of the SCAAs maltreatment while their injuries are still current. At company checkpoints, SCAA have asked travelling passengers whether they know the exact whereabouts of the four injured people. But no one has yet provided information to the SCAA.

On June 24 in the morning, the victims called Mayor Ceasar Soriano of Siocon by mobile phone to help them escape from this ‘hostage situation’ and seek proper medication. The victims said that the Mayor promised them to go to Canatuan and rescue them, but until now, he has not arrived.

The Most Rev. Jose R. Manguiran, the Bishop In-charge of the DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI) yesterday instructed DCMI staff to coordinate with the Very Rev. Edgar Agora, Parish Priest of Siocon, to assist in rescuing the alleged TVI hostages.

In March 17, 2004, TVI SCAAs indiscriminately fired at legitimate protesters in Barangay Pisawak, Siocon, wounding four including the 70 year old Subanon chieftain Timuay Macario Salacao.

The said shooting generated moral support from neighbouring barangays that caused Alnor Construction from Surigao, a subcontractor of TVI Resource Development Philippines, to withdraw.

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