Indigenous people condemn Apex Mining operations in Maco

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This article is available in Pilipino

The Katribu Kalipunan ng Katubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas has strongly condemned Apex Mining Corporation Inc for the damage it has caused to the Lumad communities in Maco, Davao de Oro. The most recent of its crimes was the landslide in Purok 1, Masara where 71 people were recorded killed and nearly 50 others are missing.

“Apex Mining has been wreaking devastation in the Compostela Valley for a long time, and a fatality has been recorded here as far back as 2008. These casualties are not ‘isolated cases’ but the result of continuous destructive mining operations by Apex,” the group said.

For decades, large corporations like Apex have been plundering ancestral lands for profit, disregarding the rights and well-being of the people who reside on them, according to the group. “Like Maco, communities covered by large-scale mining operations face outrageous disasters.”

The people in the Cordillera suffered the same disaster, notably the disaster caused by Lepanto Mining in 1999 and the landslide in 2008 caused by Benguet Mining.

Katribu refuted MGB-XI’s defense which said the landslide in Maco was caused by “natural causes” such as the type of land, heavy rainfall and the nature of the slope.

“The cases (of landslides) are not only caused by natural disasters but also by large-scale and commercial mining,” according to the group. “These companies exacerbate the impact of natural disasters and bring more destructive forces.”

Along with the call to hold Apex accountable, the group also called for the repeal of the Philippine Mining Act which gives mining companies the freedom to seize ancestral lands, plunder its resources and leave the environment devastated.

It also sympathized with the families who were victims of the landslide.

AB: Indigenous people condemn Apex Mining operations in Maco