Militarization, Rights Violations Prevalent in Mining Areas

All of these applications cover a total of 555,140.775 hectares of land, 15 percent of the total area is located in Ilocos Sur while 85 percent in the provinces of Kalinga, Abra and Mountain Province.

However, AFTA 3 by Newcrest Explorations Inc that covers Abra and Kalinga, which was converted to an EXPA, did not indicate the area of land to be covered.

The AFTA 25 by Shipside Inc. covers 80,684.8712 hectares in the provinces of Ifugao, Mountain Province and Nueva Vizcaya.

Right to life

CHRA also reported four cases of extra-judicial killings.

The victims were all farmer/hunters from Abra and Kalinga and the incidents took place one quarter apart, stated the CHRA report which was released on December 10, the 60th commemoration of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR).

Villagers in the Cordillera usually have arms for their hunting activities during the lull in the farming cycle.

CHRA also reported a sole case of enforced disappearance. Its report stated that Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) founder James Moy Balao was allegedly forcibly taken by police on September 17 near the regional police headquarter in Camp Bado Dangwa at Tomay, La Trinidad, Benguet. The family and the CPA filed a petition for a writ of amparo in a Benguet Court but no decision has yet been issued as of press time.

CHRA also reported that four cases of restriction or violent dispersal of mass actions had happened in the city, affecting at least 1,495 persons.

The CHRA report pointed out that even as peoples worldwide are commemorating the 60th anniversary of the UDHR, the human rights situation in the Philippines remains deplorable as the rights to life, liberty, security, self-determination and development are far from being fully realized.

It also demanded for the demilitarization of the countryside. Northern Dispatch/Posted by Bulatlat.com

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