Philippines: AFP Actions Will Sustain Pangayaw In SMI-Xstrata Mine Site

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    Another tribal leader was slain in the tumultous SMI-Xstrata mine site in the borders of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur last January 29, 2013. Kitari Capion, the brother of Daguel Capion, was allegedly fired upon by members of the Task Force Kitacom, a composite of Cafgu and 39th Infantry Batallion. An alliance of indigenonus peoples warn that this killing will protract the tribal war or pangayaw being waged by the Blaan people against the mining TNC.

    Pangayaw is vendetta for wrongs committed against Lumad tribes. “A few months after Juvy Capion and her children were killed in cold blood by the military, they have once again taken the life of another tribal leader. With this renewed actions by the military, this pangayaw is not close to ending,” Piya Macliing Malayao, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) spokesperson said.

    Juvy Capion, wife of Daguel Capion and leader of KAMP’s affiliate organization KALGAD, was killed by members of the 27th Infantry Batallion last October 18, 2012. Also killed were their sons, Jan-Jan and Pop, both minors. “The killing of Kitari will fuel the hatred and the determination of the Blaan to defend themselves and their territories, they were not cowered by the slay of Juvy and her sons. It likewise proves how the military are acting as the hired guns and protectors of SMI-Xstrata, not of the poor and marginalized Filipino people,” Malayao claimed. “In this setup, it seems the defense of the Blaan for their life is necessary.”

    In earlier an statement, KAMP declared the pangayaw of the Blaan as ‘just,’ citing it as a traditional defense system of the indigenous peoples against attacks on their survival and way of life. SMI-Xstrata threatens to displace 30,000 Blaan in Kiblawan, Tampakan, Columbio, and Malungon municipalities in the mountain ranges of Saranggani, Davao del Sur, and South Cotabato.

    “The resistance of the Blaan people to the entry of SMI-Xstrata has been loud and clear, and the government does not heed this plight,” Malayao said. “The bloodshed will continue until the government recognizes the right of indigenous peoples to their ancestral territories and pull out military forces.”According to KAMP, there have been 32 killings of indigenous peoples since Aquino took power, most of the killings were of indigenous leaders resisting the entry of large-scale mining.

    Source: KAMP