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Human rights groups urge PNOY to protect rights of indigenous peoples and mining affected communities

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The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates joins Alyansa Tigil Mina today in marching against irresponsible mining in the last day of the International Mining Conference in Manila.

“Under the pretense of development, multi-national mining companies have subjected communities to exploitative conditions. They have created havoc in the once peaceful existence of Filipinos and the national resources in the countryside. Many have fallen victim under this pretense and have perished due to the rejection of large-scale mining operations.” Max de Mesa, Chairperson of PAHRA said.


“Multinational mining companies are committing multiple human rights abuses including the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples. President Aquino must act against these abuses and start by revoking Ms. Arroyo’s E.O. 270-A which exacerbated human rights violations.” de Mesa added.

De Mesa concluded, “PNOY must ensure a policy alternative to large-scale mining and take positive measures to protect the environment, the victims of killings and other aggression of mining companies, the mining-affected communities and the indigenous peoples as recommended by the United Nations Committee on the Economic and Social Cultural Rights.”

In November 10, 2008, human rights and peoples organizations in the Philippines have submitted an alternative report on the economic and socio-cultural state of the Philippines during the United Nations Committee on the Economic and Social Cultural Rights (UN-CESCR) committee review of the country.

The UN CESCR under Sec. 16 of the concluding observations urges the Philippine government to fully implement the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) by ensuring the effective enjoyment by indigenous peoples of their rights to ancestral domains, lands and natural resources, and excluding development aggression especially mining, carried out on indigenous territories.

Sponsored by the Chamber of Mines, Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) and World Expos and Concepts, the International Mining Conference – Mining Philippines 2010 started in Sept 14 and will end today. Global mining companies such as BHP, Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Vale, Anglo-american, TVI and OceanaGold is expected to participate in the conference.