The Mining Act of 1995 is a long-wrought tragedy for indigenous peoples

The benefits of mining argued by mining corporations as compensatory for its immense social costs and environmental destruction is a lie. Mining corporations in collusion with the government paint a rosy picture of mining, insisting on “responsible mining” and “there is life in mining” yet its impacts on the environment and people, especially to the indigenous peoples, tell a different story.

The Mining Act of 1995 is a long-wrought tragedy to indigenous people. It worsens foreign-favored, one sided, anti-people policy of liberalization of the mining industry. It bridges and aggravates the centuries-old foreign plunder of resources in our lands. The Mining Act of 1995 worsens the oppressions against us.

As our ancestors did, we have valiantly defended our lands from the transgressions, and today we defend our land and life from liberalized mining. However, we found ourselves pitted against government forces as they play protector of large-scale mines. Deployment of military forces where there are large-scale mining interests are massive.

As if the massive deployment of military was not enough, the AFP recruits indigenous peoples to paramilitary groups. Reneging its campaign promise to dissolve paramilitary groups at the aftermath of the Ampatuan massacre, President BS Aquino beefs up the viciousness of its armed forces by allowing the formation of paramilitary groups and use them as pawns in counter-insurgency and as mining security. Under the BS Aquino presidency, 50 indigenous peoples, including 6 indigenous women and 6 indigenous children, were slain by the AFP and paramilitary groups.

The violation of human rights of indigenous peoples worsened as a result of mining and militarization. On October 18, 2012, member of the 26th Infantry Battalion strafed the home of Juvy Capion, a Blaan woman and one of the leaders of the Blaan people’s fight against the mining operations of SMI-Xstrata in their ancestral lands. The attack on their home killed and 8 months- pregnant Juvy, and her two young sons. Kitari Capion, Datu Anting Freay, and 16-year-old Victor Freay adds to the lists of Blaan people killed by suspected military forces in the SMI-Xstrata mining site between 2012 and 2013.

Military operations also caused the forced evacuation of communities. Thousands of indigenous peoples repeatedly evacuated in Surigao del Sur, agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley, and Bukidnon among others.

In tandem with violence, the government uses deception to facilatate the entry of mining outfits in ancestral lands. The connivance of the government and mining corporations is best exemplified by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP.) The NCIP is the lead agency in deceiving, manipulating, bribing and dividing indigenous peoples.

Instead of upholding IP rights and welfare against business interests, NCIP only negotiated in favor of the latter. The NCIP conducts “consultations” for mining outfits to fulfill the mandated Free Prior Informed Consent of indigenous communities. However, the FPIC process is riddled with issues of corruption, bribery, and coercion; and it has been used to legalize the entry of development projects in ancestral lands. The IPRA neither projects nor defends the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and self-determination. It is tool of the State, deceptive and lethal, for plunder and exploitations of indigenous people’s lands.

The Mining Act of 1995, aided by the IPRA and strengthened BS Aquino’s very own EO 79 is a deadly combination for the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and to self-determination.

For us indigenous peoples, the BS Aquino administration brings no respite from environmental destruction, human rights violations, repression, and oppressions similar to past regimes. Its continued implementation of the Mining Act of 1995 is a testament to this fact.

Groups resume protests in Mendiola to press for Aquino’s resignation

Mendiola, Manila
February 27, 2015

Various groups today marched to the historic mendiola bridge to again press for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III in the aftermath of the bloody Mamasapano incident. This time the multisectoral groups were joined by students from different universities in Manila who marched from different points going to Mendiola. It was the first big protest march to Mendiola one month after the Mamasapano incident.

“From EDSA we return to Mendiola, which is near the seat of power. We come from various communities, school and workplaces demanding that the current leadership step down and that a People’s Council for National Unity, Reforms and Peace be established,”said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The people’s demand for genuine change is spreading across the country. The lying president must go along with the rotten social system. People Power should lead to something more beneficial than just a change of leadership and a return to the old ways,” he added.

Speakers at the protest action discussed Aquino’s role in the Mamasapano incident, corruption issues, human rights violations, failed social services and other economic issues.

The protests come at a time when the French president Francois Hollande is holding a 2-day state visit to the Philippines. “Aside from brushing up on his French, now would be good time for Aquino to read up on the French revolution to remember what motivates people to rise up in struggle,” Reyes added.

The groups decried the Palace cover-up of aquino’s role in Mamasapano. “The Palace story line changes every week. The congressional hearing are being influenced to clear the President of any liability and instead pin all blame on officials such as General Napenas and General Purisima to run the operation along with the involvement of the US government,” Reyes said.

“We will be awaiting the results of the probe of the Board of Inquiry next week. we however won’t be surprised if the report clears the President of any wrongdoing. That is already a given. Still, from what has been revealed so far, the president cannot escape accountability,”he added.

More mass protests are expected to take place in the coming weeks in anticipation of the release of the finding of the PNP Board of Inquiry and as hearings at the House of Representatives are set to resume.

People’s Hearing focuses on US intervention in Mamasapano debacle

Witnesses at the “People’s Hearing on Mamasapano” organized by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and held last February 20 at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila recall accounts by residents of Mamasapano, Maguindanao of the presence of United States personnel and war materiel in the botched operations.

In this video, an alternative journalist, a congresswoman, and a university professor establish foreign intervention at what is turning to be the biggest political crisis that hit the Benigno Aquino government. All three were members of the fact-finding mission that interviewed relatives of civilian victims in Mamasapano two weeks after the incident.

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on the US war on terror (PART 3)

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison hinggil sa war on terror ng US.

February 17, 2015

3. Ano po ba ang relasyon ng Pilipinas sa US at bakit sinasabing sunudsunuran si Aquino sa US?

JMS: Ang Pilipinas ay malakolonya ng US. At ang gobyerno sa isang malakolonya ay papet lamang sa US. Kung gayon, tinatawag na papet at sunudsunuran ang presidente na si Aquino.

4. Ano po ang ganansya ng US sa kanyang pakikialam sa ekonomiya at pulitika ng mga bansa sa Middle East at Asya?

JMS: Malaki ang ganansya ng US sa pakikialam nito sa ekonomya at pulitika ng Middle East. Kinokontrol, dinadambong at pinagkakatubuan ng US ang mga likas na yaman (laluna ang gas at langis), ang palengke at larangan ng pamumuhunan.

(Photo from

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on the US war on terror (Part 2)

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison hinggil sa war on terror ng US.

February 17, 2015

2. Bakit po ipinapaloob ang “Mamasapano incident” sa war on terror po ng US?

JMS: Ang Mamasapano incident tungkol daw kay Marwan, isang tao mula Malaysia at kanyang kabig na Moro. Sinasabi ng US na nakapaloob si Marwan o kaya ang Mamasapano incident sa war on terror para lamang ipaggumiit ng US na may lisensyang makialam sa Pilipinas at mag-utos kay Aquino, Purisima at SAF.

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on the US war on terror (Part 1)

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison hinggil sa war on terror ng US.

February 17, 2015

1. Ano po ba ang ibig sabihin ng US war on terror?

JMS: Sa tinawag ng US na war on terror, sinasabi ng US na ito ay perpetual at borderless, walang hangganan sa panahon at teritoryo at walang depinidong estado na kalaban ng US. Basta ipinapalagay ng US na kalaban niya sa gera ang alinmang maliit na pulutong na sinasabing terorista sa anumang bahagi ng daigdig at ginagawang lisensiya ito para manghimasok ang US sa anumang bansa.

Ito ay pakunwaring gera at kathang isip lamang ng US na inumpisahan ni Bush magmula 9-11. Hindi gera ito na nakabatay sa depinisyon ng gera sa ilalim ng international law. Sa tunay na gera ng mga estado may deklarasyon ng gera mula sa isa o magkabilang panig o kaya sa isang gera sibil ng nakatayong estado at kilusang rebolusyonaryo may deklarasyon ng gera mula sa isa o magkabilang panig. Kung ang isang maliit na grupo ay gumawa ng krimen, tinutugis ito bilang isang police matter at hindi bilang isang matter of war sa pagitan ng mga hukbo.

Pahayag ng Bayan sa pagdinig ng Kongreso at Senado sa Mamasapano encounter

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Renato Reyes Jr., Secretary General ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) hinggil sa kanilang pananaw tungkol sa nagaganap na hearing sa Kongreso at Senado ng Mamasapano Encounter

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on the senate hearing on the Mamasapano encounter (Part 3)

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison hinggil sa naganap na senate hearing tungkol sa Mamasapano encounter.

February 10, 2015

3. Mararamdaman ang galit at biased na kaagad na pagtingin ni Senator Alan Peter Cayetano laban sa MILF at BIFF at gusto pa niyang pag-awayin ang dalawang grupo para patunayan ang sinseridad sa usapang pangkapayapaan ng MILF sa pamahalaan. Sinabi rin niyang kinakanlong ng mga grupong ito si Marwan. Ano po ang inyong masasabi dito?

JMS: Malamang na sumasakay si Cayetano sa Christian chauvinism o sa mga ready-made bias laban sa mga Muslim. Pero kailangang magpaliwanag ang MILF at BIFF kung si Marwan ay kinukupkop nila. Sa personal na tingin ko, mahirap na sabihin na naroon si Marwan sa Mamasapano dahil walang corpus delicti o bangkay ni Marwan ngayon. At malamang na nagsisinungaling ang FBI tungkol sa DNA analysis para lamang tulungan nito ang propaganda ni Aquino.

Tanggap naman ng FBI na wala silang sample ng DNA ni Marwan mismo kundi ng mga supposed relatives niya. Sabi ng MNLF na nasa Lanao si Marwan at wala siya sa baryo ng Mamasapano na sinalakay ng SAF. Siyanga pala, bale sina Aquino, Purisima at SAF ang sumalakay sa baryo ng Mamasapano. Sabi pa ni Napeñas na SAF ang nagmasaker ng 250 katao sa Mamasapano. Paanong may kasalanan ang MILF. Hindi pwede.

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on the senate hearing on the Mamasapano encounter (Part 2)

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison hinggil sa naganap na senate hearing tungkol sa Mamasapano encounter.

February 10, 2015

2. Parang maaabswelto pa yata si Purisima bilang operator ng
Oplan Exodus at madidiin ng husto si Napeñas. May komento po ba kayo sa bagay na ito?

JMS: Si General Napeñas talaga ang piniling maging fall guy para pagtakpan ang responsabilidad nina Purisima at Aquino. Pero nasabi na niya dati na si Purisima ang nasa command at calling the shots mula sa kanyang White House sa Camp Crame. Sabi rin niya sa Senado na si Purisima ang nagdala sa kanya kay Aquino sa Pangarap (house niya). Kalokohan talaga na pinalilitaw ng mga alipures ni Aquino sa Senado at media na walang pananagutan sina Aquino at Purisima.


ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Podcast on the senate hearing on the Mamasapano encounter

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison hinggil sa naganap na senate hearing tungkol sa Mamasapano encounter.

February 10, 2015

1. Sa senate hearing kanina, malaking pansin na wala sinuman sa
mga heneral ng PNP, SAF at AFP na nagtukoy na kasama nila sa operasyon sina President Noynoy Aquino at ang US, o kung ang mga ito ay may papel sa Mamasapano encounter. Ano po ang inyong pagtingin sa ganitong kaisipan ng mga kasundaluhan at kapulisan ng pamahalaan?

JMS: Ang US ang nagmamando kay Aquino mismo sa pinakamataas na antas. At si Aquino naman ay sadyang umakto sa labas ng chain of command ng PNP at AFP. Sapat na sa kanya na si Purisima at Napeñas ang inuutusan niya. Siya lang ang makakapagpakilos sa suspendidong PNP chief na Purisima at halos 400 kawal ng SAF nang walang pakialamanan ang PNP officer in charge na si General Espina.

Si Aquino at Ochoa ang madalas na may contact sa mga Amerikano na nasa Joint Staff. Nasa US drone command base sila sa Zamboanga City. Lantaran ang pakialam ng US sa Oplan Wolverine o Exodus. Binalak at ginawa ang oplan sa balangkas ng tinaguriang war on terror ng US. Ang US ang naghahabol kay Marwan at may alok pang malaking reward money. Merong US drone na nagsubaybay sa assault team. May Amerikanong namatay sa operation. At Evergreen helicopter ng CIA at mga American officers ay kitang kita sa retrato ng retrieval operation sa mga patay at sugatan ng SAF.