HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS INCREASE, MORE MAMANWA COMMUNITIES DISLOCATED AS MILITARY OPERATIONS CONTINUE

Karapatan-Caraga

Media Release

March 26, 2012

 

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS INCREASE, MORE MAMANWA COMMUNITIES DISLOCATED

AS MILITARY OPERATIONS CONTINUE

 

Butuan City – As military operations of the 402nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division continue in the mountain areas of Caraga region, human rights violations are increasing causing the evacuation of more affected communities. Their lives in danger because of indiscriminate bombings/strafing, airstrikes and military occupation of civilian communities, lumad-Mamanwa families have evacuated from four Mamanwa communities in Brgy. Camam-onan, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte last March 21, 2012. 113 families with 483 individuals have sought shelter at the neighboring Sitio Baoy, Brgy. San Isidro in the same municipality.

 

Aside from fearing for their lives, the evacuees face hunger in their communities as they are unable to continue with their economic activities for fear of being suspected as NPA. Their farms and hunting grounds are located in the outskirts of the community and in the forested areas. In Sitio Omao in Camam-onan, Balodoy Enano, 22 years old, was wounded when operating soldiers from the 30th IB PA shot at him and his two companions while they were cutting trees in the forested areas last March 23, 2012. Bombings and airstrikes have riddled the farms with bullets which destroyed crops.

 

Karapatan-Caraga has documented a total of 335 families dislocated because of intense militarization of which 297 are of the lumad-Mamanwa tribe. Most of them sought shelter in three evacuation centers while others are with relatives in neighboring communities. Ninety nine (99) families are sheltered in the covered court of Imadejas, Butuan City; ninety (90) families are in the barangay hall and houses of relatives in Brgy. Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte; about seventy (70) families are scattered in Brgy. Ombong and neighboring communities in Alegria, Surigao Norte and one undred thirteen (113) families are in Sitio Baoy while others are staying with relatives in Camam-onan, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.

 

The intense militarization of Caraga is part of P-Noy’s Oplan Bayanihan and serves as clearing operations for the continued operation and entry of mining companies in the region. Caraga has been named  the country’s mining capital. Six (6) of the 51 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) in Caraga and 14  of the 23 exploration permits for nickel and gold are within the mountain areas covered by the military operations: Gigaquit and Alegria in Surigao del Norte and Kitcharao, Santiago, Tubay and Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte. The Sumitomo Tag-anito High Pressure Acid Leach (T-HPAL) Plant in neighboring Claver, Surigao del Norte is currently under construction and is set for full operation in 2013. A hydro power plant will also be constructed in the Jabonga-Santiago-Tubay area in Agusan del Norte.

 

Naty Castro

Karapatan – Caraga Sec. Gen

CP # 09071009904