WE DRAW your attention to the Letter of MGB Region XI Director [3] ordering the Municipal Mayor of Compostela to allow Agusan Petroleum & Mineral Corporation (Agpet) to proceed with its exploration activities despite municipal-level resolution requesting MGB to cancel the exploration permit [1].

With this Order, we ask: who is more powerful in Compostela? The Mayor or the MGB Director?

Also, said letter requests Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines to “assist Agpet” in its exploration activities, request which is now being used by the military and police to harass protesting residents including the strafing of the house of Bello Tindasan, the chairperson of Compostela Farmers Association [2].

More than 200 farmers and lumads from the mining-affected communities in Purok 20-28 of Brgy. Ngan, Compostela are now in their six (6) days of kampuhan-picket in front of MGB XI regional office in Davao City (as of June 30).

They said they will not leave MGB XI until the exploration permit of Agusan Petroleum & Mineral Corporation is cancelled. They already submitted their opposition to Agpet to the Provincial Board of Compostela Valley last April 4 through a petition letter signed by 1000+ residents of nine (9) affected puroks of Brgy. Ngan including all the purok leaders’.

MGB XI Director Engr. Edilberto Arreza gave assurance he will recommend such cancellation in a dialogue Monday June 29 with the leaders of the Compostela Farmers Association who is leading the mass protest, but he gave the burden on the protesting farmers and lumads to show there is enough evidence for such cancellation. Is the series of protests (barricades, pickets, now kampuhan) plus the escalating human rights violations due to militarization not enough evidence for Engr. Arreza?

Whom is MGB serving?

Panalipdan Southern Mindanao (Panalipdan-SMR)

Reference: Prof. Chiara Respecia, Spokesperson

[1] For a copy of the municipal resolution and other related documents, please visit our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.895177263878059.1073741845.747510825311371&type=3

[2] For the related news on the strafing of Tindasan’s house, read here: http://davaotoday.com/main/human-rights/comval-anti-mining-leaders-house-strafed/

[3] For a copy of the MGB XI Director’s Order, please visit our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.894993640563088.1073741844.747510825311371&type=3