Candidates Should Face Up to Corporate Logging in Davao, Says Indigenous Peoples Group

April 10, 2010

Davao City — National indigenous sectoral group KATRIBU Partylist challenged local candidates to address the logging problem in Davao City as it received reports from Manobo leaders in Brgy. Malabog, Paquibato District regarding the illegal logging operations in the area.

Area reports say illegal logging activities are being conducted in Sitios Alon, and KM 24 to KM 27, in Brgy. Malabog.

“Aspirants for the May 2010 elections must address the growing problem on massive illegal and commercial logging in the city and in the region as a whole, lest we lose Davao’s natural resources and end up suffering the cost of these profit-driven activities, ” urged Diolito Diarog, KATRIBU Davao City Coordinator.

KATRIBU also said massive commercial logging operations in Cateel, Baganga, Davao Oriental province, Compostela, Compostela Valley and Talaingod, Davao Del Norte are resulting to the denudation of critical mountains and forests which are ancestral territories of various lumad groups.

“The influx of pseudo-developmental projects in the region poses a big challenge to government officials, majority of whom are unfortunately at the mercy of private corporations who provide them with huge campaign donations.

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But they should be beholden first and foremost to the people rather than to their campaign sponsors,” said Diarog.

He added, “We have seen how thousands of people from Luzon suffered from the floods caused by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng as a result of the denudation of the Sierra Madre mountain range by corporate logging. We, Davaoenos should learn from the lessons of these tragedies,” warned Diarog.

KATRIBU also warned about mining operations conducted without let-up throughout the region.

Katribu members in Brgy Pamintaran in Maragusan, Compostela Valley have reported mining operations within lumad ancestral grounds despite the absence of unanimous consent from the concerned communities.

KATRIBU is also alarmed with the looming implementation of hydropower dam projects. It noted that the hydropower plant in Tamugan and the Pulangi V mega dam will provide energy for transnational mining and agribusiness corporations rather than for the water and power needs of the local communities.


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