Mamanwas want mining firm out of Surigao

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CAGDIANAO, Claver, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/11 May) – Mamanwas vowed to continue barricading the mining site of Shen Zhou Mining Group Corporation here until the company shuts down and leaves port.

Vilma Coter, a Mamanwa representative told MindaNews on the same day that they won’t budge despite the reported payment of royalty fees on Thursday amounting to P11 million.

In an interview Wednesday, Datu Renante Buklas said the issue is not about the royalty fees but the cease and desist order of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) issued on January 12, 2012 against Shen Zhou mining.


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“Unless the rights of our tribe are not respected we won’t leave,” Buklas said in Cebuano, adding they were perplexed why the local NCIP has not acted on the order until now but instead told them that the company will still operate because it legally holds a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement or MPSA.

He said the royalty fees are not an issue because “this is the obligation of the Shen Zhou.”

On Tuesday, members of the 132nd Regional Public Safety Company (RPSC), Task Force Taganito, soldiers, militiamen, company guards and private security guards stormed the mining site and dismantled makeshift tents and barricades set up by the Mamanwas.

The presence of the group, according to Shen Zhou corporate secretary Jacqueline de Leon was “the decision of the crisis committee” as the company is facing an “ongoing dispute.”

She assured that the company is exercising full restraint in handling the situation and that “there is no harassment. In fact, kami nga ang hindi makaigib nang tubig at hindi makapasok sa site kasi pinigilan nila (we are the ones who could not fetch water nor enter the site).”

Saying the company is willing to pay the Mamanwas, she showed reporters DBP account no. 0850-027398-030 in the names of Shen Zhou Mining Group Corp. and NCIP TF (Trust Fund). The passbook showed that the first deposit was made on January 6, 2011 in the amount of P1.697 million. The last deposit was dated May 5, 2012 in the amount of P7.947 million.

The Mamanwas started their barricade on May 2, last week.

De Leon said there have been several negotiations that took place in the past showing the firm’s intent to settle “whatever issues” the Mamanwas have raised including the reported “boundary dispute” between Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. Such dispute also caused a dispute between a Manobo leader named Kumander Jack and Buklas.

But Buklas said this is a non-issue as the claimant of the land being disputed is covered under the group’s CADT-048. He said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) refers to the same document, which means his group’s claim is legitimate.

The tribal chieftain said the issues should not be muddled since it is the Mamanwas’ right as owners of the ancestral land to exercise control over it.

“They will pay but they will have to get out,” he said.

Scuttled talks

MGB regional director Alilo Ensomo told Mindanews his office has not received the supposed cease and desist order from the NCIP and so could not act on it.

The process, he said, would have been that the line agencies concerned should have addressed its decision to MGB Manila or for that matter the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) which issued the mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA), which is the permit to operate.

Ensomo said he was only furnished a copy of the letter addressed to MGB Director Leo Jasareno.

“I can only issue a cease and desist and stop the operations of a mining company if there is imminent danger to lives and properties, (and) unless otherwise ordered by the Secretary,” he said.

Ensomo said he even brokered a “preliminary meeting” with Buklas and his lawyer, NCIP Surigao del Norte and the mining company on Friday, May 4, which was held at the NCIP provincial office in Surigao City.

A meeting planned on Tuesday was scuttled when Buklas and another tribal chieftain Datu Alicio Patac snubbed the invitation.

The scuttled talks could have preceded the arrival of government troops on Tuesday afternoon at the mine site together with NCIP officials, and reportedly Claver local officials.

Claver’s chief of police Senior Inspector Christopherson Cauilan said Mayor Rosemarie Mira-Gokiangkee formed a municipal crisis management committee to settle the tension in the area.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gokiangkee met with another tribal chieftain, Bae Joan Hukman of CADT 048 and Coter. In a text message, Coter said the talks still boiled down to telling them to accept the royalty payment and then leave the area.

Coter said the talk still reached a stalemate with them sticking to their call for Shen Zhou to stop operating and leave port.

Harassed

Rorok Buklas, a council member of the Taganito claimants who led the barricade at the dike going to the causeway of the mine site, said at least a hundred armed men are deployed around it.

“They even put up shields to prevent us from entering,” he said in Cebuano.

Buklas also said on Wednesday morning that police allegedly pointed a gun at his companions when they tried to stop them from going towards a barricade set up at one of the roads inside the mine site.

Cauilan, who was there at the interview, promised to investigate any of his men who will commit violations against the Mamanwas. The group has filed a report on the incident at the municipal police station.

On January 12, 2012, the NCIP En Banc ordered Shen Zhou Mining to cease and desist from operating after finding that the certificate of precondition (CP) issued by the regional NCIP is “void and invalid” as it was signed by only one NCIP commissioner.

A CP is issued upon obtaining the Free and Informed Prior Consent (FPIC) from the indigenous community where the mining applicant or contractor will operate.

It is also one of the requisites for the issuance of an Environmental Clearance Certificate by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (Vanessa Almeda/MindaNews)

M11mamanwa

Mamanwas want mining firm out of Surigao

CAGDIANAO, Claver, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/11 May) – Mamanwas vowed to continue barricading the mining site of Shen Zhou Mining Group Corporation here until the company shuts down and leaves port.

Vilma Coter, a Mamanwa representative told MindaNews on the same day that they won’t budge despite the reported payment of royalty fees on Thursday amounting to P11 million.

In an interview Wednesday, Datu Renante Buklas said the issue is not about the royalty fees but the cease and desist order of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) issued on January 12, 2012 against Shen Zhou mining.

“Unless the rights of our tribe are not respected we won’t leave,” Buklas said in Cebuano, adding they were perplexed why the local NCIP has not acted on the order until now but instead told them that the company will still operate because it legally holds a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement or MPSA.

He said the royalty fees are not an issue because “this is the obligation of the Shen Zhou.”

On Tuesday, members of the 132nd Regional Public Safety Company (RPSC), Task Force Taganito, soldiers, militiamen, company guards and private security guards stormed the mining site and dismantled makeshift tents and barricades set up by the Mamanwas.

The presence of the group, according to Shen Zhou corporate secretary Jacqueline de Leon was “the decision of the crisis committee” as the company is facing an “ongoing dispute.”

She assured that the company is exercising full restraint in handling the situation and that “there is no harassment. In fact, kami nga ang hindi makaigib nang tubig at hindi makapasok sa site kasi pinigilan nila (we are the ones who could not fetch water nor enter the site).”

Saying the company is willing to pay the Mamanwas, she showed reporters DBP account no. 0850-027398-030 in the names of Shen Zhou Mining Group Corp. and NCIP TF (Trust Fund). The passbook showed that the first deposit was made on January 6, 2011 in the amount of P1.697 million. The last deposit was dated May 5, 2012 in the amount of P7.947 million.

The Mamanwas started their barricade on May 2, last week.

De Leon said there have been several negotiations that took place in the past showing the firm’s intent to settle “whatever issues” the Mamanwas have raised including the reported “boundary dispute” between Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. Such dispute also caused a dispute between a Manobo leader named Kumander Jack and Buklas.

But Buklas said this is a non-issue as the claimant of the land being disputed is covered under the group’s CADT-048. He said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) refers to the same document, which means his group’s claim is legitimate.

The tribal chieftain said the issues should not be muddled since it is the Mamanwas’ right as owners of the ancestral land to exercise control over it.

“They will pay but they will have to get out,” he said.

Scuttled talks

MGB regional director Alilo Ensomo told Mindanews his office has not received the supposed cease and desist order from the NCIP and so could not act on it.

The process, he said, would have been that the line agencies concerned should have addressed its decision to MGB Manila or for that matter the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) which issued the mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA), which is the permit to operate.

Ensomo said he was only furnished a copy of the letter addressed to MGB Director Leo Jasareno.

“I can only issue a cease and desist and stop the operations of a mining company if there is imminent danger to lives and properties, (and) unless otherwise ordered by the Secretary,” he said.

Ensomo said he even brokered a “preliminary meeting” with Buklas and his lawyer, NCIP Surigao del Norte and the mining company on Friday, May 4, which was held at the NCIP provincial office in Surigao City.

A meeting planned on Tuesday was scuttled when Buklas and another tribal chieftain Datu Alicio Patac snubbed the invitation.

The scuttled talks could have preceded the arrival of government troops on Tuesday afternoon at the mine site together with NCIP officials, and reportedly Claver local officials.

Claver’s chief of police Senior Inspector Christopherson Cauilan said Mayor Rosemarie Mira-Gokiangkee formed a municipal crisis management committee to settle the tension in the area.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gokiangkee met with another tribal chieftain, Bae Joan Hukman of CADT 048 and Coter. In a text message, Coter said the talks still boiled down to telling them to accept the royalty payment and then leave the area.

Coter said the talk still reached a stalemate with them sticking to their call for Shen Zhou to stop operating and leave port.

Harassed

Rorok Buklas, a council member of the Taganito claimants who led the barricade at the dike going to the causeway of the mine site, said at least a hundred armed men are deployed around it.

“They even put up shields to prevent us from entering,” he said in Cebuano.

Buklas also said on Wednesday morning that police allegedly pointed a gun at his companions when they tried to stop them from going towards a barricade set up at one of the roads inside the mine site.

Cauilan, who was there at the interview, promised to investigate any of his men who will commit violations against the Mamanwas. The group has filed a report on the incident at the municipal police station.

On January 12, 2012, the NCIP En Banc ordered Shen Zhou Mining to cease and desist from operating after finding that the certificate of precondition (CP) issued by the regional NCIP is “void and invalid” as it was signed by only one NCIP commissioner.

A CP is issued upon obtaining the Free and Informed Prior Consent (FPIC) from the indigenous community where the mining applicant or contractor will operate.

It is also one of the requisites for the issuance of an Environmental Clearance Certificate by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (Vanessa Almeda/MindaNews)

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