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The Resistance of the people of Midsalip to mining

June 23, 2011 · 


Sec. Reg. No. CN200829168
Balay Bityalan
7021 Midsalip,
Zamboanga del Sur

23 June 2011
Zenaida Pawid
NCIP Chairwoman
National Commission on Indigenous People
2nd Floor N. dela Merced Building,
Cor. West & Quezon Avenues,
Quezon City, Metro Manila.

Dear Maam Zenaida,

We are writing in connection with the ongoing conflict in Midsalip between the Subaanen Tupusumi members, together with Midsalip citizens concerned for the environment, and the GAMI/MSSON Mining Company. As you are aware the root cause of this conflict is the flawed FPIC process carried out in Midsalip leading to the signing of a MOA in February 2007 despite widespread opposition from the Subaanen People.

The MOA was signed by Fe Flora M. Zafra on behalf of GAMI. This signing was made in bad faith by Mr. Zafra as he had already ceded, transferred and conveyed absolutely, irrevocably and forever the Mining claims in the MPSA area to MSSON mining in October 2006.

The MOA was signed by Mr. Danilo Balives on behalf of the Subaanen people despite widespread opposition from the Subaanens. He had been made president of MUSA (Midsalip United Subaanen Association) pro mining organization of Subaanen set up specially to facilitate GAMI.

Mr. Balives has now transferred his allegiance to Getaw Taasan Mining as he alleges GAMI failed to fulfil their promises to him.

The MOA was signed on behalf of the NCIP by Janette Causing Serano. By signing this MOA she aligned herself with a Chinese mining company and failed totally to ensure that the Subaanen right to FPIC be honoured.

– She was aware that there was widespread opposition from among the Subaanen indigenous people to the GAMI application even before the commencement of the FPIC process. (NCIP Resolution No. 027 of 2006 P. 4)
– She was aware that no Subaanen either leader or resident in barangay Cumarom favoured mining.
– She was aware that seven members of one family, a father, two sons, one daughter, 2 nephews and a sister-in-law were accepted by the NCIP as leaders despite the fact that only the father had been made a leader by the GAMI, not by the residents of Guinabot as required by customary law.
– She was aware that the majority of leaders created by MUSA had no status under customarylaw.
– She was aware that all TUPUSUMI elders and leaders had been excluded from the FPIC process.
– She was made aware that in any decision affecting the community, all the members participate.
– She was aware that the Subaanen people were denied their right to withhold consent by the  NCIP. She was aware the show of hands by household heads was not allowed.
– She failed to respect our customary law and practice. She failed also to ensure the proper implementation of IPRA which would have required that the leaders were representative of the people, and that the wishes of the majority of the Subaanens who opposed mining were honoured.

– She issued the Compliance Certificate (CP) necessary for the MGB to approve the MPSA, despite having acknowledged the conflict in the community.

In the MPSA approved there was no mention of the clause in the MOA requiring another FPIC process if the company decides to proceed to exploitation.

During the past nine months because of the failures of the NCIP our members and officers have endured immense hardship at the hands of the mining company. They have had to attend numerous court hearings, man pickets and now they are being threatened with an Injunction.

During all this time the NCIP have shown no concern for the suffering of the Subaanen people. We are now pleading that even at this late stage you strive to redress the damage which has been caused by your office. We request that in accordance with Section 59 of IPRA which states ³the ICCs/IPs have the right to stop or suspend, in accordance with this Act, any project which has not satisfied the requirement of this consultation process² the NCIP revoke the CP granted, and that you communicate this decision to the MGB as soon as possible in order to avert any further suffering of the Subaanen people and in order to protect Midsalip watershed and ancestral domain.

Hoping for your immediate action.

Respectfully yours,

(Kesalabuukan Tupusumi Sec.)

cc: Hon. Cosme Lambayon ­ Commissioner NCIP for North and Western Mindanao
Hon. Atty. Basillio Wandag – Executive Director NCIP, Central Office Manila
Hon. Atty. Jonathan Adaci – Director Ancestral Domain Office, NCIP Central Office Manila
Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles – NCIP Oversight Office for Presidential Adviser on Peace Process
Cong. Teddy Brawner Baguilat – Chairman Committee on Cultural Communities, Batasan Hills,
Quezon City
Mr. Al Saga – NCIP Provincial Officer, Pagadian City
Dir. Abdul Puengan – NCIP Regional Director, Pagadian City
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) ­ Cagayan de Oro City


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