AMTUAGAN FOLK IN TUBO,
ABRA URGE MUNICIPAL GOV'T TO SUPPORT THEIR RESOLUTIONS VS. LARGE
BANGUED, Abra (July 9)-Residents of Barangay Amtuagan
in Tubo municipality in this province came up with two resolutions
in mid-June on the entry and operations of large mines in Tubo,
and the worsening human rights violations therein as a result of
massive militarization. The resolutions are for submission to the
Tubo municipal council so that proper ordinances will be passed
to support such move from the community. These will also be submitted
to other institutions, and to government agencies like the National
Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
KASTAN, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) chapter
in Abra, had just responded to an educational forum request from
Amtuagan community on June 14, which tackled large scale mining
and its impact, especially to the ancestral land and resources of
indigenous peoples, which was discussed by Estrella Balutoc of the
KASTAN secretariat. Inputs on the national, regional and provincial
situations were also given, with emphasis to mining and agriculture
by the provincial peasant alliance TUMAKDER Secretary General Jay
Peña, while the human rights situation was discussed by Abra
Human Rights Alliance (AHRA) Spokesperson Irene Timbreza. Over 180
community members, including elders and the youth, were present
during this activity.
CPA Deputy Secretary General Santos Mero said that
presently, there are four mining applications under process in Tubo.
This includes one MPSA (Mineral Production and Sharing Agreement)
with a total land area of 4,455 by Almagan Exploration Company,
which includes a part of Bucloc. There are also three EXPA (Exploration
Permit Applications) by the following companies/entities: Michael
Gabuna, Antonio Pena, covering 1,620.00 hectares; Heirs of Valeriano
P. Damasen, covering 324 hectares, and Malibato Mining Co., Inc.
Block 1 with a total land area of 11,158.00 hectares.
The MPSA applications of Asia Pacific Mineral Services
and Exploration Corporation (9,963 has.) and W. E. Hale and Association
Mining Corporation (3,888.00 has.) were denied/rejected, but these
two companies can always re-file these applications. If these two
will be included, the total land area covered by mining applications
in Tubo municipality is 35,863 has.
The educational forum was enlightening for the community,
as shown in the resolutions they made, which was signed by all community
members, including the youth and children. #