Mining firm denies manipulating indigenous people’s office-A A +A
Sunday, July 1, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet - Far Southeast Gold Resources Inc. (FSGRI) denies manipulating the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Regional Office (NCIP).
“We respect the NCIP and its role as the government agency responsible for upholding the rights of the Indigenous People (IP). The case filed by the Save Mankayan Movement went through a standard legal process and we adhered to that process,” read FSGRI’s official statement.
Representative Teddy Casiño filed a resolution with the House Committee on National Cultural Communities to investigate mining project expansion of FSGRI and Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) in Mankayan town, as well as citing a conflict of interest pointing out Louis Pawid, Gold Fields regional manager, is NCIP Commissioner Zenaida Brigida Hamada-Pawid’s stepson.
The FSGRI statement brushed aside the allusion to manipulation, stressing, “The NCIP Regional Hearing Officer, as mandated by his function, decided on the case based on merits.”
The South African Mining firm said the Free and Prior Informed Consent in Mankayan for the company is the first in Benguet.
“We are one with the community in this unique position of new beginnings. We firmly believe that the community will benefit from a project like FSE, and we stand firm to our commitment to uphold the rights of indigenous peoples,” the firm said.
The statement added, “We welcome the investigation requested by lawmaker Casiño as another venue to exercise transparency and show what we have done so far.”
According to the mining company, “the FPIC application is on hold in light of the rollout of the revised FPIC guidelines.”
FSGRI continued to explain it was in January 2011, the application for Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement was endorsed to the NCIP the same endorsement contained a request for a Certificate of Precondition from the receiving agency. In the case of Mankayan, the FPIC will be conducted to the Mankayan Kankana-ey tribe.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 02, 2012.