Abomination in the highlands and the struggle of MAMATFA against MINDORO RESOURCES INCORPORATED

Posted: March 19, 2012 in Communities Of Resistance
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

By: Tilo Kuizon

The booming industrialization of countries like China, the fluctuating prices of currencies in the stock market, and the eco-barbaric character of extractive industries catapult the demand for sapping the earth’s mineral resources.  One of the most exceptional spots where minerals are extremely abundant is the eastern Mindanao corridor.  This is the home of the MAMATFA, the Mainit-Malimono Tree Farmers Association, a small group of farmers in the region who are angrily resisting the advancement of Mindoro Gold Phillippines, Incorporated’s gold-copper project.

MAMATFA’s farmland is found on the uplands of Lake Mainit.  The farmers are eyeing to establish organic vegetation in the area.  The 350 hectare land serves hundreds of farmers who are roughly dependent on farming to live on.  The intruder, Mindoro Gold Philippines, Incorporated is the subsidiary of Mindoro Resources Limited – a Canadian mining company who was backed up by the previous administration’s (Arroyo government) Executive Order 270 – National Policy on Revitalizing Mining Industry in the Philippines. Lake Mainit is also enveloped in the Arroyo’s priority mining projects.  The company simply wants to take of well in Mainit because it can meet the voracious requirement of booming industrialization of countries in the Asia pacific and beyond.  Added to that, MRL has all the state’s support in terms of power and resources making it easy for them to dig down through. But what they encountered on the ground was a surprising situation.  The farmers of Mainit-Malimono are steadfast in their stand of rejecting any corporate mining operation that threatens their livelihood and destroys nature.

TECTONIC ORIGINS

Lake Mainit is situated in the northeastern part of Mindanao, just 44 kilometers down south from the main city of Surigao.  It is located on a small peninsula stretching northwards from the eastern side of Mindanao (Lewis Jr., 1973).  It encompasses a few provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur.  The lake is the second largest lake in Mindanao and the fourth largest lake (17,060 ha) in the archipelago having a depth of 219.35 meters below sea level (MSUNFSTDI, 2009).  Surrounding it are several farming and fishing communities and towering mountain peaks pinnacling up to 600 to 1000 meters above sea level.  It covers about two million hectares of landscapes that include forests, farmlands, river systems, and retentive coastlines.  On one end, the outlet channel of the lake is the Kalinawan river in Tubay, Agusan del Norte and on the other, the Butuan Bay. Lake Mainit’s water is considered to be the cleanest lake water in the whole Philippines.


CONSTELLATED BY EXTRACTION

Because the lake is a part of Caraga which sits on the spot of the circum pacific belt of fire (a place in the pacific stretching from Asia to North and South America which are very prolific in minerals), it remains in an eye catcher position for extractive companies.  The rich mineral resources of the region can products billions of superprofits in the world market.  Owing to its long history of extraction of about more than 500 years, Lake Mainit continues to house thousands of families resting mostly on farming and fishing to live on.  These communities have been around the region for hundreds of years and are still persisting to live the same way of life in the present and in the coming decades.

The place is undoubtedly very affluent in mineral resources. In fact, the whole eastern corridor of Mindanao is home to a galore of minerals which has been estimated to produce billions of dollars of profits in the world market.  In the contemporary global village where neo-liberalism is almost omnipresent, it is not at all surprising to see extraction companies constellating around its mountain corridors.

 

The montane forests of Lake Mainit splits the coastal area and the mountains houses numerable mineral reserves such as gold, silver, copper, nickel and cobalt.  Its highest land altitude peaks up to 500 feet above sea level which are often surrounded by lush forests and small to medium sized river systems and estuaries.  The flora and fauna follows a rich biodiversity sheltering hundreds of bird species including wild ducks, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, and insects.   Conservation.org (2009, p. 1) states that the eastern part of Mindanao, the ‘eastern corridor’, is nicknamed as the “Timber and Mining Corridor of the Philippines” (p.1, 2011) and is home to robust wildlife species. The corridor houses 2,300 plant species, 60 percent of which are endemic, 16 endemic amphibian species including the Philippine Crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), 85 bird species including the endangered Philippine eagle (Pitecophaga jefferyi), 25 endemic mammal species which includes the Golden Crown Flying fox (Aceredon jubatus),  36 endemic species of reptiles and carries about 40 km2 of mangroves (Conservation International, 2011).

Lake Mainit has about five crustaceans, 10 mollusks, 41 species of fish and 15 species of aquatic plants. In the municipality of Kitcharao, Surigao del Sur, two caves the Panlangagan and Anibongan caves.  Both of these caves showed anthropological processes as human bones were recently discovered.

The rainy season starts in November and ends in March while dry season sets every April to October.  The region also contains one of the largest remaining blocks of tropical lowland rainforests and is the largest dipterocarp forest block in the Philippines.

A SHARED RESOURCE

Lake Mainit is a shared resource amongst North and Southern Surigaonons (Jabonganons), and the North Agusan del Norte populace.  It belongs to one of the 8 provinces in the eastern Mindanao region.  The early inhabitants of the area are known to have come from the early civilized islands of the Visayas (middle part of the archipelago). One of the indigenous groups settling in the area is the Mamanwa tribe, they have been inhabiting the surrounding forests for hundreds of years.  Thousands of farmers, fishermen and Mamanwas depend on the lakes resources to live on.  Antonio Magpatoc, one of the locals who have been raised in the region said, that “It is possible to get food everywhere in the lake. I was raised here and now raising my family utilizing the lakes resources as our main source of food.” 

Farmers in the lake would have to wait until May every year to start farming because the lake’s water rises up to several inches every November and subsides starting March to April.   Lake Mainit has an agricultural economy ranging from rice crops, corn, etc.  People in the province are solely resting on their crops to survive.  Although some seek the city life, most of them prefer to stay unwinding on the idyllic views of their farmlands. It is considered to be the bread basket of the whole Caraga region supplying 50% of the overall production of copra.  They are planning to set up more livelihood projects for their member farmers and vegetate the area with organic plants.  The lake is so abundant in aqua life that in July 2007-August 2008, there were about 199,127 kilograms of fish caught in the area.

THE CORPORATE SKETCH

MRL is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of the mineral properties in the Philippines, through its wholly owned subsidiary MRL Gold Phils., Inc. The Company focuses on exploration and development of nickel, copper and gold exploration. During the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company focused its exploration efforts on the Agata Nickel project (Mainit), Agusan del Norte Province, northern Mindanao, including regional properties. The Agata Nickel Project is located in Surigao del Norte Province of Northern Mindanao. It produces nickel laterite ores. It has 75% direct and indirect economic interest in the Agata and Can-aga mineral production sharing agreements (MPSA), four exploration permits (EP), six exploration permit applications (EPA) and a 10% direct interest in the Mat-I project. Its other properties include Batangas, Kay Tanda, and Lobo and SW Breccia Mineral Resource. (Retrieved from: http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=MIO.V).

Like all mining operators in the archipelago, Mindoro Gold Philippines, Incorporated operates as covertness tactics of the main Canadian company.  Their business aims to mine 1,782 hectares of upland forest and grassland. Their Projects include:
Surigao Projects

Surigao is a major copper-gold and nickel district. This district is a historic gold mining camp, where there are literally thousands of epithermal gold showings, prospects and small scale artisanal mines. Based on the recognized Philippine copper-gold model, porphyry copper-gold systems would be anticipated as well, and this was confirmed with the discovery in 2000 of the Philex Gold/Anglo American Boyongan porphyry copper-gold deposits, and more recent discoveries.


Subsequent drilling at Boyongan outlined a major porphyry copper-gold deposit with a disclosed resource estimate of 219 million tonnes at a grade of 0.51% copper and 0.74 g/t gold. The Anglo-Philex joint venture more recently announced that a second porphyry system has been discovered a few hundred meters to the north of Boyongan, known as the Bayugo (or Kalayaan) porphyry prospect, as well as indications of several other porphyry systems nearby. Intensive drilling is in progress in the area.

Batangas Projects

Mindoro acquired the Lobo and Archangel Projects in the Batangas District of Luzon Island in December 2000, under an agreement with Egerton Gold Philippines Inc., a private Philippines Company. Mindoro may earn a 75% interest in the Batangas projects through phased exploration expenditures, issues of shares, and by taking one of the projects (either Lobo or Archangel) to the feasibility stage. Lobo and Archangel are each held under a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), which is a legally binding contract with the Philippine Government allowing for mineral exploration and development.

Pan de Azucar Project

The Pan de Azucar MPSA covers 535 ha on Pan de Azucar Island. Under a 1997 agreement with a private Philippines company, Minimax Mineral Exploration Corp, Mindoro may earn 75% interest in the Pan de Azucar Project through phased exploration expenditures and issues of shares. Mindoro has earned a 40% interest to date.

Geology Mineralization

The Pan de Azucar Prospect is located within a collapsed caldera structure, where the dacitic-andesitic caldera-fill package

hosts pervasive replacement and structurally-controlled alteration and mineralization. Dacitic units are preferred hosts to mineralization. An epithermal, massive pyritic-sulphide deposit, the Valderama Zone, with low to moderate grade copper-gold-zinc-silver values was drill-intersected by Mindoro in 2001 and a porphyry copper-gold target located at Asparin Hill in 2002.

For the time being, Mindoro seek funds for their further exploration activities in Batangas.  They are targeting C$2.8 Million more for the next operation in the province.  Stop this company from destroying the planet.  Get in touch with these psychopaths.

Shares Listed

TSX Venture Exchange: MIO
Management
Tony Climie, P.Geo – CEO, COO
-Penny Gould, President
-Eugene D.Zarowny, CA, CFP – CFO

Contact/Investor Relations
Canada – Head Office
Mindoro Resources Ltd
Penny Gould
Suite 104, 17707-105 Avenue
Edmonton,Alberta,Canada T5S 1T1


Tel:             (780) 413-8187       | Fax: (780) 426-2716
E-mail: penny@mindoro.com
Website: www.mindoro.com

Australia
Nathan Ryan
+0420.582.887
nathan@mindoro.com/

Germany
Robert Sarcher
+49.821.6089051
robert@mindoro.com
RECORD OF RESISTANCE

“Gold is Evil”, averred Giovanni Casera of the MAMATFA.  Their struggle against this megalomaniac started in the last quarter of 2008 when their 350 hectare land was encroached by the corporation.  Totally aware that they have the full rights to the usage of the land, they collectively refused MRL and sent them a letter stating their position.

Rizal Labadan and Giovanni Casera are two of the most active campaigners who continuously educate the locals about the catastrophic impacts of mining.  At the present, they are working on expanding their network in and outside Mainit.  For months, these two have been busy warning the local folks about what would happen to them if they lay down their cards to the corporate moguls.

In the third quarter of 2010, MAMATFA received a letters from MRL’s Vice President, Edsel Abrasaldo.  The letter contained highlights of their exploration (drilling) project aggressively claiming that MAMATFA’s lands is within the Exploration Permit of their company.  Prior to the letter, MRL had already started their drilling operations in two villages – Barangay Tapian and Tagbuyawan in Surigao del Sur.  They did 80 auger holes within 84.54 hectare of land in those villages.  MRL insists that MAMATFA’s lands are subjected to mining operation because it contains potential nickel laterite deposits and that they need to do geological mapping, rock sampling, and testing to further move on with their corporate project.  They planned to dig about 90 holes in the Tapian/MAMATFA area on a pattern of 100 meters by 100 meters, which can decrease or increase depending on the result of the samples.

Added to that, MRL said that they would try to rationally work with MAMATFA and help them in a number of ways including assistance in planting of seedlings and assistance in developing the potentialities of their land.  Having been exposed to loads of mining issues within Caraga, MAMATFA did not compromise.  Moreover, MRL’s mambo-jumbo included gardening programs, coastal clean ups, solid waste management,  environmental programs for elementary and high school students, assistance in agro-forestry farming systems, assistance in livelihood projects like native chicken production, assistance in accessing production and market technologies for communities with potential fish production, assistance in marketing agricultural crops, assistance in post production technologies for agricultural crops, capacity building seminars/workshops and a budget of Php 716, 000.00 for the communities. Convincing to the unaware, MAMATFA repeatedly said no to MRL!

Still persisting after a number of refusals, the DENR-MGB had a community consultation with the MAMATFA, but MRL failed again because of the same response.  Edsel Abrasaldo sent another set of letters to Rizal Labadan.  In the letters, he showed an attractive track record of the company’s community development projects without realizing that the people he is communicating with are people who refuse the mega-propaganda machine.  When Abrasaldo heard about this, he courageously said that they can hire the military if MAMATFA still persists.  Not long after, there were a number of bribery attempts to MAMATFA people but nothing worked.

In November 2010, MRL sneaked in MAMATFA’s lands a year ago, tying pink ribbons as indicators of potential mineral locations in their exploration.  They also flagged the place with a signage saying “MRL site, this way”.  When the farmers saw the annoying signage and the ugly pink indicators, they quickly removed all of them.  Sometime ago, Casera and Labadan received threats from unknown men who were allegedly from MRL.  They are completely aware of the consequences given the long list of assassinated anti-mining activists in the Philippines.  Despite that, they were not scared instead the threat uplifted their fighting spirit to the heights of Malcolm X and Isabelo de los Reyes.

Although the stage of MRL’s operation at the moment is just in the exploration stage, the farmers are vigilant about their next move.  Two months ago, a company negotiator went by Rizal Labadan’s house in the hope of convincing him to give in.  After a few moments of talk, he went home weary.

MAYHEM ON SOCIAL AND ECOLOGICAL REALMS

Socio-cultural:

– Livelihood loss for the farmers of Mainit and Malimono
– Cultural effacement of Mamanwa
– Displacement of the Mamanwa tribe
– Direct community intrusion and violation of indigenous people’s rights to land, livelihood and traditional way of life
– Potentials: intra and inter community divide and strife from extreme polarization, death threats on whistle blowers, cultural death of the Mamanwa

Ecological:

– Regular Fish Kill in Mainit
– Disturbed ecological balance in the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur
– Potentials: Mine tailings spillage in nearby water systems such as rivers, creeks and the adjacent coasts of Surigao peninsula

 

EXTERNAL PRESSURES VERSUS INTERNAL CAPACITIES (AQAL MAP)

The potential impacts of these external technological structures to the interior lives of the people of Mainit poses serious threats to the interior culture of both farmers and indigenous people and will definitely cause social disparity.  MRL’s Nickel laterite and Copper Gold projects freezes the local people’s capacity to flourish on their own instead; the intervention locks them up in their present state and leave them behind displaced and devastated. Their corporate framework is a one size fits all solution which if trembled, resorts to aggression and violence against the community and the environment.  However, MAMATFA’s acculturation discourages any corporate mining operation in the area. The decades of cultivating the land made an inevitable connection between them and the soils of Malimono and Mainit. Hence, they could not allow anything that may destroy that sense of association, let alone large scale mining.

Over the years, MAMATFA people developed a deep sense of loathing against corporate agents who endlessly try to thrust their project by different means.  Individuals are very vigilant about MRL’s plans and always attempt to intercept their assaults.   Although there hasn’t been any sort of wide scale desolation and community breakdown yet, the MAMATFA people fear that worst case scenario may happen if no counteraction is taken.  They fear that they will lose their land and livelihood which offer a sense of economic security for their families.  They are also dreadful of a number of concerns such as communities will tear down, intra-familial and intra-community relationships will be ruined and the environment lambasted.  With regards to security threats, farmers are quite are solid in their stance of defending their lives and protecting nature.  Aware of the harsh community intrusion and violation of Indigenous people’s rights, the Mamanwas fear that they will totally lose their land, including their sacred burial grounds, the forest they rely on, their traditional sources of income, their culture’s death, and the deracination of their populace.  The cumulative effects are just too staggering!  These possibilities stay latent and fragile as MRL thrusts for extracting nickel, cobalt and gold for their corporate partners in Australia, China and Japan; increase their company’s gains, and make compelling company stories to attract more investors for the future developmental stages of their current projects.

The farmers’ efforts to save the uplands of Mainit and Malimono from totalitarian wipe out reflect their worldview on people, culture and nature.  Most of MAMATFA farmers are engaged in socio-civic services and are very active in grassroots organizing.  They have a strong sense of community, kinship, and are eco-centric in many ways.  Although MAMATFA already has a clear cut understanding about the cataclysmic impacts of corporate projects, there are a huge number of people in the neighboring villages namely Jabonga, Tubay and Santiago who are nearly oblivious about the real character of mining corporations.  The grinding poverty in the villages surrounding the lake, the venality of some individuals, the lack of sound understanding on the ecological effects of mining, and the slippery hands of MRL can potentially turn the tables quick. These are some of the things that further encourage corporate encroachment in the area, and the stream of behaviors that fear most MAMATFAs and Mamanwas. MRL continues its mandate to make money regardless of how they will affect the surrounding communities of Jabonga, Tubay and Santiago including outward communities like Mainit and Malimono; regardless of how it will impact the delicate ecological balance of the 26,000 hectare forest and the tectonic Lake Mainit; regardless of what will be the future condition of the Mamanwa tribe, and regardless of how outside groups oppose their projects.  They continue to operate under tyranny to meet their company’s profit margins, supply more nickel, copper and gold to their international partners, build the foundations of egregious company milestone, and seek more funders for their next round of operations.

One of the most striking ecosystemic impacts of MRL (and other mining corporations) operations in the boundaries of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur (including Mainit), is the disregarded occurrence of regular fish kill.  Lake Mainit is home to hundreds of birds, amphibians, fishes and other freshwater life and has been one of the main sources of food for many surrounding villages including the Mamanwa tribe.  Fishes are killed due to poisons of toxic spillage in nearby mine tailings dam.  The totality of this aquatic habitat catastrophe is yet to unfold.  Other than that, there’s always the potentiality of catching mining related illnesses such as respiratory and integumentary complications.  The Philippine national, regional and local government abdicates corporations like MRL.  They nourish and aid these companies as they grow and expand in the Philippine horizon using bureaucratically legitimized laws like the Mining Act of 1995, to free them from legal constrains, deregulation and granting more power and authority over society (Bakan, 2005).  The antipathy of MRL’s investors, the inviting mining policy’s of the Philippine government, encouragement of pro-mining national organizations, and the wanton compliance of DENR-MGB and the supporting role of PENRO makes possible MRL’s corporate impingement. Added to the perplexing situation is the crippling poverty of the villages in the surrounding lake.  All these factors sustain the condition in which MRL is at right now.  Hence, the cataclysms in forests, creeks, rivers, lake mainit, and the Surigao peninsula are just about to unfold.

ROADMAP OF QUARRELS

MAMATFA and Mamanwa’s opposition to MRL leaves an open and latent conflict in a number of ways.  One, any discreet intrusion of MRL in MAMATFA’s farmlands will probably lead to aggressive confrontation, if not violent.  Two, the growing displacement of the Mamanwa tribe will result to far reaching measures like meta-legal actions and will probably intensify community solidarity in nearby municipalities also affected by large scale mining.  Third, the opposition of supporting outside groups, both local and international, will definitely attack the company through legal means.

MRL’s morbid chase for profits is guttling the traditional way of life of the Mamanwas, causing angst and agitation and preys on hundreds of farmers in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur.  The Mamanwa and MAMATFA both tried to try legal measures but did not get satisfying responses from the recipients.  They both publicly announced their denouncement of MRL’s occupation.  However, the endorsing roles of the national, regional and local government perpetuate the corporate intrusion.  Supporting outside groups like the KASAMA KA, among others, have continuously supported small farmer’s autonomy to life and liberty and are continually networking with other People’s organizations and NGO’s to advance their advocacy.

What remains is a broken connection between the international community and local host communities.  Even though pressure can be wielded by international groups against the Philippine government, the process is just too slow for changes to take place.  The remorseless nature of corporate greed proliferate teargas pressure to people, culture and nature moment to moment.  As long as MRL stays active on the boundaries of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur, resistance will never wither away.

Global financial institutions also play a major role here.  The private placement of component organizations such as DJ Carmichael Pty Ltd of Australia and Fox-Davies Capital Ltd based in London and  IFC’s (International Financial Corporation, an arm of World Bank Group) fuel MRL’s eco-wrecking extractive operations.  Before the Mining Act of 1995, mineral rich countries like the Philippines, Chile, and Brazil were pushed against the wall by international organizations like IMF-WB, WTO, etc., to customize their national laws in favor of extractive companies.  By 1995, the policy on mining in the Philippines mirrored those demands.  Similarly, the role of national governments with regards to the mining policy is to coerce the regional and local governments to customize their laws and fit them with accordingly to what has been agreed on the national scale.   Consequently, farming communities like the MAMATFA, and indigenous population like the Mamanwa, remain the direct victims of the cascading corporate pervasion.  Alongside to that is the inevitable calamitous breakdown of forest ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems.

HITTING THE CORE

MAMATFA and the Mamanwa’s drive to network with local, regional and national groups, their continuous effort to educate the affected villages, and their sometimes militant aggressive strategies all roots from their need to defend their right to land, livelihood and access to natural resources in nature.   In contrast, the local, regional and national governments serve as the nucleus of corporate operations.  Their role in the mining issue in Mainit-Malimono, Agusan del Norte and other parts of Surigao del Sur, is to deny any consensually agreed position and catalyze MRL’s agenda.

The multiple forms of expressions and the nested holarchic nature of the company’s motivations are revealed by MRL’s cruel exercise of power against people, culture and nature.  On the surface, like other mining companies, MRL alleges that they are efficiently operating under the law’s supervision; proper community consent, right environmental measures, and decent revenues for the government. However, what they want is bluntly the extraction of minerals in their mining tenements.  The company’s corporate mindset operates on fully charged aggression in reaching billions of profits from the minerals of Batangas and Surigao/Agusan and whatever may hinder their way is sure to be eradicated.

DOMINOS IN LINE  

MRL’s belligerent encroachment to its host communities led to people’s retaliation.  What we are seeing now is just the preliminary realms of what is yet to emerge.  The petition letters, position letters, public announcement of MAMATFA and Mamanwa’s despise against the corporate intrusion are nothing but signs and symptoms of more militant possibilities in the future. Host communities are extremely polarized, traumatized and lambasted by large scale mining corporations leaving them no choice but to resist.   Large scale mining companies’ destructive character stems from the rapid propagation of global capitalist power.  Institutions like the International Finance Corporation, organizational components of UK, Australian and Canadian companies in MRL’s common shares, and the neo-economic slavery of the Philippine government to mega-institutions all play a role in large scale mining operations in the archipelago.  The pitfalls include expected fish kills in Lake Mainit, life threats to whistle blowers, community divide, upland to downstream pollution in the ecosystems of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur, loss of livelihood amongst many farmers, socio-cultural displacement of the Manamwa tribe, and probable ecological cataclysms in the near future.

STURDY BODIES OF THE CONFLICT

The conflict pillars that make the situation stiff and sturdy can be grouped in three extremes.  One involves the Philippine government, the mining corporations, the mainstream media, the global financial aid institutions and the shareholders of MRL.  All of them inflict institutional violence to the host communities and the adjoining ecology.  The harsh policies, pro-corporate stance of the mainstream media, exclusion of communities in major decision making, and the constant aggressive push of the corporate agenda stabilize on end.  The other extreme are the MAMATFA, the Mamanwas and their supporting outside groups. The last edge is the international community.  There is a clear issue of lack of communication, solidarity and direct involvement of international groups with regards to the issue of large scale mining in Mainit-Malimono, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte.  Also, the body politic of the local, regional and national domains is reluctant to engage in such issues for reasons like apathy and indifference.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

In early 2011, MRL’s released a statement about the status of their project in MAMATFA’s land, ” The most prospective part of the Tapian target, the MAMATFA Area, has not yet been drilled due to drilling access issues currently being negotiated “. They estimated that there are about 1.07% nickel and 42% iron in the lower limonite horizon.  In all the negotiations of DENR-MGB/MRL and MAMATFA, the farmers consistently said no to the drilling proposal.  Edsel Abrasaldo, the Vice President of the subsidiary company MRL Gold Philippines, Incorporated have already received a handful letters from the farmers reiterating their position.  MAMATFA’s stand against the corporate project aims to protect their farms as the nature of the operation are inconsistent to their group’s goals, will damage their recent activities in the area and will have legal complications to their existing agreements with other groups and organizations.  At the moment, MRL is still trying to find crack spots where they could gain access to MAMATFA’s farmlands, a proposal which the farmers would never allow.

Meanwhile, the Mamanwa tribe already expressed their opposition to the Ombudsman of the International Finance Corporation last December 03, 2010.  The tribal community gathered about 29 signatures for their position letter.  They contend that mining will not give them any benefits instead wipe out their cultural way of life, traditional economy, sacred burial grounds, and deprive their right to ancestral domain.

SUPPORT GROUPS

The issue of MRL’s exploration and future operation of gold-copper mining in MRL is not in the hotseat of tabloids and newsletters of working groups right now.  However, the ground base reality is firm and sturdy.  Support groups like the Caraga-wide network KASAMA KA, a group of farmers and religious sects working to protect the environment and livelihood of the Caraga populace, is highly substantiating in all ways.  Meetings are held regularly to update the members and counter any possible blow by the company.

 

GET DIRECTLY IN TOUCH WITH MAMATFA:

c/o Giovanni Casera and Rizal Labadan
Mainit-Malimono Tree Farmers Association (MAMATFA)
Barangay Magpayang, Mainit
Surigao del Norte, Mindanao,
Philippines 8407

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