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Church officials urge probe on Tampakan massacre

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Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat of the lone district of Ifugao, and IP leaders call on the government to act fast on the Tampakan massacre and other IP killings.

MANILA, Oct. 30, 2012?Members of the Church and various groups called on the Aquino administration to conduct an urgent investigation and bring justice on the victims of the Tampakan Massacre.

Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa) condemned the brutal killings of Juvy Malid Capion and two sons, 13-year old Jordan and 8-year old John, from the B’laan tribe.

“We condemn with sadness and disgust the Tampakan massacre.  Atrocities and human rights violation like this committed to protect the interest of mining companies should give PNoy’s administration compelling reason to permanently stop Tampakan mining project,” Gariguez said.

Twenty-seven years old Judy, who was 3 months pregnant when killed, was the wife of Daguil Capion, a B’laan tribe leader who staunchly opposed the mining operations of the Sagittarius Mines Inc. in Tampakan.

Daguil Capion has been a fugitive since the military ordered a manhunt for him because of his opposition to mining. At the time of the massacre, the military claimed that there was an encounter with the armed group of Daguil and the communities opposed to Xstrata/SMI.

Gariguez said the killings of anti-mining advocates are already alarming and sends a chilling effect to other environmentalists. He also called on the government to act on the unresolved killings and bring justice to the victims.

“We also demand justice for the family and ask the government to bring the perpetrators to account for this barbaric crime,” Gariguez urged.

Marbel Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez, in a statement has also condemned the killings of the innocent civilians, allegedly by members of the military in Davao Del Sur last October 18.

Gutierrez has demanded a thorough, factual, speedy and objective investigation on the Tampakan massacre to be conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of national Defense, and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Reports cited that the trouble started when the Sagittarius, Xstrata, Indophils took over Western Mining Corporation and relocated the B’laans of Brgy. Bong Mal to Atmorok which did not sit well with the B’laans in Atmorok.

Ethnocide 

Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat of the lone district of Ifugao together with the IP leaders and other groups urged the government to act fast on the Tampakan massacre and other IP killings.

Baguilat said that the killing incident was a crime committed to the whole indigenous community and it was a big insult to the Indigenous Peoples Right Act or IPRA (RA 8371).

“We condemn these acts of harassments, terrors and attacks to our IP leaders and communities, much so when the perpetrators are the military who are supposed to protect the Filipino people. I don’t know if they are aware that we have IPRA,” Baguilat said.

The latter also encouraged the IP communities to join them in advancing sustainable development in their ancestral domains and promote peace and solidarity in a yearlong IPRA commemoration from October 2012 to October 2013.

Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, pointed out that Sagittarius Mines Inc. had seriously violated the rule cited in the IPRA because the SMI has failed to get consent from the three B’laan communities.

That should have been a clear indication that they should no longer implement the Tampakan project, Garganera said.

The Indigenous Peoples Basic Sector of the National Anti-Poverty Commission has also released a statement calling on the government to give justice to the victims of Tampakan massacre and other IP killings in the country.

“We further call to stop threatening the lives of our men and women leaders and to stop vandalizing our indigenous sacred lands,” the group cited. [SocialActionNews]

 


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