38 mining-related shooting incidents recorded-A A +A
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
SINCE the entry of mining in Zamboanga del Sur in 2008, a total of 38 shooting incidents have been recorded by the regional command of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the latest of which claimed the life of 11-year-old Jordan Manda in Bayug.
Romel Devera of Amnesty International (AI) said they are alarmed over the “many violations” done against the rights of indigenous people (IP) and their communities, especially by “extractive corporations.
“IP leaders and human rights defenders continue to be targeted for attacks, among the recent was the death of Gilbert Paborada, a leader of Higaonon tribe in Cagayan de Oro, and the ambush of Manda,” Devera said.
The boy died after sustaining a gunshot wound in his back while riding onboard a motorcycle with his father.
The bullet was aimed at his father, Timuay Locencio Manda, who is the chieftain of Barangay Datagan in Bayug.
However, the suspect missed the father and instead hit the boy.
Manda strongly opposes the entry of four mining companies within their ancestral domain.
According to Devera, violations in the area are clearly exacerbated by mining although some of the conflicts arose from land issues.
Jennelyn Alajena, the chieftain’s cousin, said Manda is fighting against the entry of mining in their areas while continually working for the issuance of certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT) of the more than 30,000 hectare land composing 16 brangays in Bayug, Zamboanga del Sur.
At least 14 mining applications await approval at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Northern Mindanao, Alajena said.
“Four of these were already approved and is now starting operation along our ancestral domain without seeking free prior and informed consent from us,” she added.
She said since the entry of these mining corporations in 2008, there are already 38 victims of shooting incidence until 2012.
“Let us stop mining and focus on the issue of land conflict, especially among the IPs,” Devera urged.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 17, 2012.