IPs seek Pnoy’s help vs illegal mining operation PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 March 2014 11:16

An Indigenous Peoples (IP) group known as the ‘Pikumpongan Subanen Lupa Pusaka’ has urged President Benigno Aquino, III to order an investigation on the continuous “illegal” mining operations within their ancestral domain in the province.

The request of the IP to President Aquino is contained in a letter dated March 17, 2014 that was sent through Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Ramon Paje.

The group represented by Luciano Tanglanan called for the conduct of investigation after discovering that the mining operation is being conducted within their declared ancestral domain and not in the approved area which is in Barangay Sigacad, Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur.

The ancestral domain of the group of Tanglanan cover portions of the municipalities of Sindangan, Leon Postigo, Godod, and Siayan in Zambonga del Norte and portion of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur.

Tanglanan said those involved in the mining continue to conduct mining operations although their permit issued by the provincial government is from February 14, 2011 until December 13, 2013 only.

They added that heavy equipment are being used despite the fact that the permit issued is for a small-scale mining operations.

Tanglanan also explained that in Section 16 of Republic Act 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 as affirmed by Section 59 of R.A. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA Law) states that no ancestral land/domain shall be open for mining without the prior consent from the IP community.

“Their mining operations is illegal because it has no Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) as guaranted in the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 or RA 8371 (IPRA Law),” he said.

A copy of the letter from Tanglanan’s group was also furnished to Department of Justice (DOJ) Sec. Leila De Lima and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) acting director Leo Jasareno.