Nun, Anti-Mining Advocates File Complaints at the CHR

Morales said that environmental defenders have become targets of the military’s attacks under the Investment Defense Force (IDF) created by Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Arroyo announced the formation of the IDF on February 2007 in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte as a means to protect vital investments in the countryside, most especially mining.

Meanwhile, the Canada-Phiippines Solidarity for Human Rights, a coalition partner of the BC Conference of the United Church of Canada and a member of the International League of People’s Struggle and the International Migrant’s Alliance condemned the attacks on environmental activists.

The Canada- Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights said in its statement, “It is unfortunate that just when entire communities, institutions and individuals all over the world are searching for and working on solutions to environmental problems like global climate change that threaten our very survival as a nation and as a planet, the Philippine military, steeped in paranoia and shortsightedness, once again raises the “terrorist” or “communist” specter to justify detaining Sr. Matutina and company. In this case, officials of the 67th Infantry Battalion alluded to “fake nuns organizing people against the government,” and going as far as to say, “a nun’s place is in the convent.”

It said further, “We are aware of the backdrop on which this overzealous defense of the government by the military is being played.. Mindanao, like the rest of the Philippines, has been and continues to be sold one hundred per cent to foreign big business, foremost of which are mining and logging interests. With their local partners, among them political and military bigwigs, and the Presidential family, these profit leeches reap the bonanza of the plunder of the national patrimony and could not care less about the pollution of the Philippine lands and rivers, and the deprivation of the peoples’ right to life and their resources.”

Gabriela Partylist Representative Luzviminda Ilagan also filed a House Resolution seeking for an immediate investigation on the incident.

SAMIN said, “Amidst this state of oppression, we remain steadfast to fulfill the mission of the Church which is to assert the dignity and rights of people and the integrity of Creation. We carry this task to care for the environment as “a matter of common and universal duty.”

Panalipdan reiterated the call for the scrapping of the Mining Act of 1995. (

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