Interfaith Pilgrimage Holds Rites to Oppose Mining in Siocon

The tribal chieftain is happy for now to see his home for a brief moment. He cannot stay on in Canatuan for concerns of his safety. Nevertheless, Anoy expressed his wish, that like the other people in Zamboanga, he would “like to see TVI leave our lands, and compensate for whatever damages they wrought to the people and the land.”

The pilgrimage comes at a time where the religious sector is actively opposing large-scale foreign mining. Earlier in January, the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued its statement calling for the repeal of Republic Act No. 7942, known as the Mining Act of 1995.

A Mindanao Interfaith conference on mining was held in Dipolog also last January leading to the formation of Panalipdan (Defend) Mindanao. The conference opposed the Arroyo government’s promotion of Mindanao as a mining haven. Ten of the government’s mining priority projects are located in Mindanao, including Siocon, four in Caraga region, four in Compostela Valley, and one in Socsksargen.

What lies behind the rise of foreign mining in this country, says Bishop Manguiran, is the globalization pushed by G8 countries such as TVI’s country Canada. “Globalization sweeps away nationalism, and patrimony, as patrimony is about who controls resources,” he said. (

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