Bringing the campaign for lumad rights into cyberspace

www.macambol.org features lumads living in Mt. Hamiguitan mountain range in Davao Oriental. The lumads are being threatened by the entry of mining companies who are prospecting for gold and copper deposits.

Environment Secretary Michael Defensor in 2005 approved the mining applications of Galactica Mining and Development  Corporation, Mt. Peak Mining Mining and Development Corporation; and Oregon Mining and Development Corporations.

The  area approved by Defensor covered some 17, 521 hectares in the towns of  Mati, San Isidro and Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental.

Keith Kristoffer Bacongco, campaigns officer of the Davao-based Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kailakasan (LRC-KsK) fears pollution will also threaten Pujada Bay, where the waters of Mt. Hamiguitan rivers and streams empties.

Bacongco said more than 3,000 fishermen are dependent on Pujada Bay’s rich fishing grounds. The bay is also known to have sea cows or dugong, an endangered specie.

The website features calls by the lumads for the government to junk the mining in Mt. Hamiguitan. Presidential Proclamation 431 signed in July 1994, declared Pujada Bay, covering 21,000 hectares of sea, a protected seascape and landscape area.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Republic Act 9303 in July 2004, declaring Mt. Hamiguitan a protected area under the category of wildlife sanctuary.

The other website, www.kontradevagg.com, brings viewers to view the campaign against development aggression in Mindanao up front.

The website opens with strong pictures of mining exploration sites and illegal logging cut in the verdant forests of Mindanao.

“You can view the destruction of our forests at the front seat. It is a very chilling experience,” Bacongco said.

Short for Kontra Development Aggression (Against Development Aggression), www.kontradevagg.com  is put up by LRC-KsK, Tribal Filipino Program of the Diocese of Kidapawan, Diocese of Digos, Social Action Center of Marbel Diocese, Karapatan Southern Mindanao, Panalipdan Mindanao, and the Soccskargends Agenda.

It also features blogs of the latest news in the mining sector. “We chose to go online because this is one of the most effective tools for information dissemination. The viewer is just a click away,” Bacongco said.

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