QUEZON, Nueva Vizcaya – Concerned indigenous peoples (IPs) raised concern over the alleged forcible entry of a mining company in their private properties without their consent and consultation with the affected communities in alleged violation of existing laws, rules and regulations.
Sources, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal and for security reasons, alleged that FCF Minerals Corporation started its development activities in Barangay Runrono , particularly within Stages 3 and 5 of the mine site, when they excavated an area of approximately 30 meters by 10 meters which caused significant damages to the agricultural crops of the IPs and other reported damages to the private properties in the area.
Worst, there was no formal agreement by the affected IPs and the company for the latter to enter their property. The source further alleged that the company personnel and heavy equipment were reportedly escorted by members of the Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) and Philippine Army who are evidently acting as company escorts in the said community.
The affected IPs and families reportedly submitted their complaint letter to FCF Minerals Development Corporation, copy-furnished the barangay seeking reconsideration for the company to stop their mine development activities in the area until their concerns shall have been addressed but this reportedly fell in deaf ears.
Early this month, the source disclosed that the company allegedly entered the contested area with the heavy equipment and allegedly excavated another 20 meters by 20 meters portion of the private property with the assistance of the police and military reportedly acting as company escorts.
At Sitio Tayab, the affected IPs and families blockaded their private property which is currently being used as free access road for the company to stop the company in repeatedly committing illegal entry and excavation within their property since the mining firm is reportedly grossly violating their human rights.
Despite an agreement for status quo in the contested property, the source claimed that the company still continues its alleged illegal excavation and exploration activities to the detriment of the environment and the sources of livelihood of the IPs living in the said community.
The source also questioned the legitimacy of the ongoing excavation activities and its inability to secure the free and prior informed consent (FPIC) of the affected IPs before pursuing its mine development activities as covered in the financial and technical agreement issued to the company way back in 2009.
The source accused concerned government agencies of allegedly being in cahoots with the company in its alleged illegal mine development activities for their failure to act on the legitimate complaints of the concerned IPs in the area.