By CORDILLERA PEOPLES ALLIANCE (CPA) and ITOGON INTER-BARANGAY ALLIANCE (IIBA)
November 27, 2008
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and the Itogon Inter-Barangay Alliance (IIBA) welcome the development that Australian mining company Anvil Mining will be suspending all its exploration activities in Itogon, Benguet, particularly in barangays Ampucao and Poblacion due primarily to the global financial crisis. This, however, is only temporary. As such, the people’s opposition to further mining plunder in Itogon municipality shall not rest.
Itogon has long been a haven for plunder of land and resources. Benguet Corporation (BC, which has been mining since 1903 employed bulk mining methods through its open pit mines in the latter part of the 20th century, largely putting at high risk and danger indigenous communities nearby. BC, along with other mines that operated and continue to operate in Itogon (Atok Big Wedge, Philex Mining Corporation and Itogon Suyoc Mines, now Itogon Suyoc Resources) are largely accountable for the displacement of the Ibaloi and Kankanaey indigenous peoples; the plunder of their ancestral land and resources leading to their displacement; and economic dislocation as a people from their ancestral domain.
Anvil may have taken the backseat for now but will definitely attempt to re-enter, including other companies – both new and renamed. In fact, the whole of Benguet province is seemingly up for sale by the Philippine government with the various mining applications, through maneuvered and fraudulent Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) processes.
Thus, we reaffirm our call to stop all kinds of large and destructive mines in Itogon and Benguet. We fear for another Itogon landslide or another Colalo sinking if these persisted. We call on our kailian in the rest of Benguet province to be vigilant and resist all forms of mining plunder and firmly disallow any attempt for mining activities in your ancestral land and resources.
We also challenge the officials of Benguet and the municipal governments and the provincial governments to be part of the Benguet people’s struggle for the defense of land, life and resources and put a moratorium on large and destructive mines in Benguet province.
End mining plunder in Itogon!
No to destructive, large-scale mining in Benguet and the Cordillera! #